by Gloria Furman
One morning last week at 5:00am the static on the baby monitor came alive. I could hear my preschooler calling for help.
Fever. Wet bed. Tears. Vomit.
Nurse Mommy to the rescue! My sweet girl spent most of the day lying on the couch when she preferred to be wading in the pool pretending she is an orca trainer.
While changing cold compresses on Norah’s forehead I read 2 Timothy chapter 2 where Paul exhorts Timothy to rely on God’s grace to fulfill his calling as a disciple-maker. In the midst of a challenging Saturday morning I became increasingly aware of my need to be “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1). In my daily, disciple-making work as a homemaker, nursemaid, and chef it’s not a stretch to relate to Paul’s exhortation to rely on God’s grace.
Even though the metaphors Paul uses in this particular passage aren’t your typical descriptions of motherhood, that day I caught a glimpse of disciple-making through the eyes of a soldier, athlete, and farmer (2 Tim. 2:1-7).
A mother participates in making disciples of Jesus as she invests her life in the work of evangelism and discipleship of her children in every day life. Like faithful soldiers we are diligent with the small things because we aim to please the Lord. Like persistent athletes who compete with integrity we stay focused on what the Lord has us doing. Like hard-working farmers we invest our everyday lives in our children looking forward to the fruit that God produces.
Disciple-making like a soldier/athlete/farmer-mom means doing the routine hard work that moves the gospel forward. We don’t despise the day of small things.
We’re reminded by the Great Commission that our children are included in panta ta ethne (“all the nations”). Jesus’ assurances that he has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18) and that he is with us always “to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20) are ours for the keeping and believing in our everyday disciple-making.
The world doesn’t ascribe hype or glamour to laundering a pile of soiled bed sheets. The paparazzi won’t snap any photos of you praying with a child that God would help her to take her yucky medicine. The neighbours probably won’t pile into your yard and do the wave when your house is still standing at the end of the day.
But your diligent, intentional, persevering, hope-filled work of evangelism and discipleship done through the strengthening grace of Jesus gives him praise that echoes in eternity.
And that brings about the rejoicing of heaven.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).