Hello, friends. Don't you just love this time of year? The Autumn season is my very favorite time of year, even above Christmas. There is something about fall that lends itself to a time of reflection and pause. Isn't it amazing that nature gives us such a picture of beauty from a state of dying? When the leaves start to change their color, it make me want to put on my scarves and boots, eat a bowl of chili and sip a cup of hot apple cider. To snuggle down and usher in our dutiful, and maybe a mite intrusive, great- Aunt Winter.
This year's fall has found me in a state of deep and pensive contemplation as I survey the state of things around me. My world, your world, our world, is changing. And not for the better, so it seems. Many aspects of life that have defined me have shifted, have changed so that sometimes I cannot even recognize the landscape around me. I must confess, I feel more and more like a stranger here, in a place where I once thrived, and that breaks my heart. And by here, I do not mean a physical location, but I mean here, in an atmosphere where the values, principles, and beliefs that made me who I am are no longer regarded as valuable. They are being thrown out the window like yesterday's McDonald's paper bag. They are being scoffed at, mocked, declared as ignorance. They are being reasoned away by new, enlightened doctrines and theological reasonings. All around I see an indifference for the things of God, an undermining of our precious Holiness heritage and beliefs. It is heartbreaking, devastating, and if we let it overcome us, it's downright depressing.
I am completely and utterly convinced, my friends, that Holiness is right. This conviction has not come casually, but from an exhausting, gut-wrenching digging in prayer and in the Word. I have asked myself all the questions, I have weighed in the balance all the inconsistencies that we see in the ministry and in the church. They are glaringly obvious. I came to a point where I had to search out and ask myself, "Why am I living this way? Why do l believe like this? Is it so I can belong to a "movement', a social group, so I can be accepted in a certain clique? is it so I will be invited to sing on Bro. So-and-So's platform at Such-and-Such campmeeting? Is it for my husband? Is it for my parents? Why? And the answer I keep getting, is none of the above. For if it were, it would be for the wrong reason. I have purposed in my heart to live a life of Biblical holiness, not "movement" Holiness, because of this one reason: a lifetime walking with and an eternity spent with Christ is all that matters. I will stand before Him for my own judgement, which will not be based on my parents', my pastor's, or my husband's walk with God, but mine and mine alone.
As a mother, it has been especially troublesome to view the present state of such circumstances, and downright scary to imagine the future. What will be left for my children in ten years? Fifteen, twenty? When our precious prayer warriors are passing on to glory, and no one is picking up the torch they've left behind. When our churches are filled with sleepy elderly saints, jaded, indignant adults, and shallow, disinterested youth? How will my children ever get their footing spiritually in a time of such discord, division, and confusion? Forgive me for sounding so negative, but this is reality. Yes, God is still moving, saving, filling with the Holy Ghost and healing, and I have not lost faith in Him or His ability to do any of that. It is not the Holiness message that is flawed, but rather the application of that message. The motives and intents behind our lifestyle have got to be pure and solely for the purpose of exalting and glorifying Christ. And that is where we are missing the mark.
So what does a mother do, when faced with these questions that relentlessly pelt her mind and heart? She must take them to her Savior. And when I did, He drew my attention to a few mothers in the Bible who defeated the spiritual odds, so to speak, and in the midst of similar, and probably worse circumstances, raised children who not only thrived spiritually, but rose up to become mighty leaders in their generation.
Let's look to Hannah, who brought her son to a man of God who had become weak and ineffective, who had compromised greatly. It was a perilous time of dissension in the land and the temple--and yet Samuel became all God needed Him to be for that hour. And then there's Jochebed, whose son cried his first cry in a world bent on his demise. He was born into slavery and bondage, his people at the very bottom of the totem pole in every sense. He was then placed in a home that knew nothing of God's truths. Yet God brought Moses out, called Him to a place of close-knit communion with and witness of the mighty power of God.
How did these children defy such odds, in environments of spiritual darkness? I have to believe it was a result of a mother's unrelenting, passionate prayers over and for her children. These mothers gave their children over to God unselfishly and with the utmost trust. They laid them on the altar, prayed, believed, and let go.
So, do I stand and wring my hands over what the future holds? No, I go to war on my knees, my goal sharing eternity around God's throne with all four of my children. the devil can't have a single one! Will you join me, dear mother, dear aunt, dear grandmother, in fighting for our next generation? Now is the time to rally our spirits and push through the thick fog of lethargy. Now is the time to fight! Our children are worth it!