by Beverly Chao Berrus
Like a washing machine going through wash, rinse, repeat — so my days as a mom can feel like some endless cycle of everyday. As I loaded the dishwasher today, I started thinking about some of my friends who are faithful Christian mothers whose days don’t look like mine.
I thought of a friend who is getting ready to move countries for the sake of the gospel, a friend whose husband has a severe physical disability, a friend bound by long-term illness, a friend who works to help pay the family bills, a friend with a special needs child, and a friend who struggles with things in her past that affect her still today. No mother’s day or experiences are exactly like mine.
But according to God’s word, I do have things in common with women all over the world. One big thing we have in common is that we need to be reminded to remember. For our good, God communicates this theme throughout the entirety of the Bible.
The Israelites’ gratitude for God’s saving work to free them from slavery soon melted away into bitter complaints in a hot desert. In their thinking, the manna and quail that miraculously rained down from heaven became the “only” things on the menu. And through discipline and judgment for their faithlessness, God reminded them who had been at work to miraculously free them. The Galatians went from being a people who trusted in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for their redemption and reconciliation. But they forgot the gospel (and added to it), prompting the Apostle Paul to remind them that they had emptied the gospel of its power by adding laws and burdens to it.
We are forgetful people, like children who learn by having things repeated to them a million times until it clicks. Once it does click, life shifts towards more understanding. God’s people are in the pattern of witnessing his immense grace at work, repenting and trusting, faithlessly forgetting, and being graciously reminded again to recall his immense grace at work in our lives. And the cycle repeats.
Chalk up the amnesia to lingering effects of our former slavery to sin. But Praise God! He is long-suffering and patient. He desires to show great mercy to sinners through the sacrifice of his perfect Son, Jesus. As Susan Hunt writes, we believe, “For the glory of the Shepherd who became the Lamb who is the King!”
As J.I. Packer profoundly puts it:
“Do I as a Christian understand myself? Do I know my own real identity? My own real destiny? I am a child of God, God is my Father; heaven is my home; every day is one day nearer. My Saviour is my brother; every Christian is my brother too. Say it over and over again to yourself first thing in the morning, last thing at night, as you wait for the bus, any time when your mind is free, and ask God that you may be enabled to live as one who knows it is all utterly and completely true. For this is the Christian’s secret of the Christian life, of a God-honouring life.” (Knowing God)
Moms, as you labor in whatever ways you labor today (and every day), remember that you are bought by the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:19). Remember your identity is as a child of God’s above all else.
Above and beyond any reputation you may have as a creative or stylist homemaker, or as a master chef or baker, or as a hard-working employee, or as an excellent home educator, you are a child of God. You won’t even be your child/children’s mother for eternity nor your husband’s wife forever. But you will be God’s child forever, worshiping and praising our perfect Father who gave his Son’s life to fold you into his family. This God has called you to faithfulness and he gives you the grace that you need to do whatever he calls you to do. Remember– don’t forget!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Beverly Chao Berrus was born into a family that practiced the worship of idols and ancestors. She became a Christian in middle school and was born again into the kingdom of heaven. Bev is married to Jason and they have one daughter, Sam. They’ve recently moved from Washington, DC to the United Arab Emirates, where Jason serves on staff at Redeemer Church of Dubai.