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Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Friends


Adam stood alone in Eden, and though it was a lush paradise in a world entirely untainted by sin… 


Though he knew the friendship and affectionate pursuit of his Creator…


Though he’d been endued with personality and purpose and endless delights, something was off. For the first time since planets started spinning and stars began to flicker, something in our story was “not good.” 


“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”…So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:18, 21-23


From that moment, all of creation has, in myriad expressions, rested in the echo of Adam’s delight at the arrival of Eve, whether we’ve realized it or not. Heaven graced humanity with one of its most glorious and necessary gifts when God gave us mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. I am grateful for a society that reserves time in our calendars to pause and see these selfless saints that have so greatly shaped our stories. And I’m thrilled to celebrate some of mine.


Mothers


There’s nothing quite like the tender love and fierce protection of a mom. In the Bible, Hannah became the forerunner of moms everywhere, surrendering any agenda for her child at the feet of the King, asking only that HE would inhabit their hearts. Esther became mother over a nation, choosing to risk it all for a legacy that outlived her. Mary, knowing that somewhere along the path of motherhood “a sword would pierce her own heart,” joyously agreed for the Lord to do everything He said. 


The man I am today was carefully cultivated and patiently shaped by the continual presence and devotion of my mom, who made it her mission to see me soar. 


In an age where mother-in-law jokes run rampant, I can’t relate, because I received not an “in-law,” but a second mom who has championed me with the same unending love she gave my wife and her sons. 


My personal hero is my best friend, who happens to be mom to our five children, and foster mom to many precious little ones through the years. 


If it all weren’t enough, God blessed me with a spiritual mama who carries the needs of my heart to the throne of heaven with compassionate care and speaks the promises of God into my soul with a tenacity that changes me. 


Thank God for moms.


Sisters


Blood is thicker than water, and the bond of a sister is a chain forged in the fire that holds fast, amidst the strongest resistance. 


Mary and Martha stood as not only sisters to Lazarus, but in a deep sense, sisters to our Lord Himself. For Jesus, their home was always open, their affection was ever extended, and their posture was continually at His feet to hear all that was in His heart. This is what sisters do. 


As the youngest of four (and the only boy), I have tasted the sweet fruit of the undying love of my sisters. Yes, they have often drawn near to pry into my feelings and have been known to threaten bodily harm to anyone who breaks my heart, but I've never needed to doubt the depth to which they stand in my corner and have my back. I am strong and I know I am loved in great thanks to my sisters. 


And I am overwhelmed by God’s beautiful gift of a handful of spiritual sisters who have breathed life into my soul when I had nothing left. They have laughed and cried with me, making my families’ cares their own. And they have spoken deeper faith into my soul of who God invites me to be than just about anyone. 


Thank God for sisters. 


Daughters


I have lived a number of days and felt a whole lot of feelings, but there is absolutely nothing on earth like a father’s love for his little girl. 


A centurion named Jairus found his whole world unraveling as his daughter, his baby, ebbed between life and death. As Jesus spoke life into her lungs, it was Jairus who was able to breathe again. 


My sweet daughter Annabelle has my whole heart. I delight in the generosity of her spirit, the wonder that dances behind her eyes, and her personality, which is larger than life itself. 


I have also walked with Jesus long enough to see spiritual daughters grow up. I am overwhelmed as I reminisce hours praying and counseling, seeking and sharing words of life I heard from the Father, only to see them bloom before our eyes. Preachers and Singers. Psalmists and Missionaries. Wives and Mothers. World Changers and Legacy Makers. 


Thank God for daughters. 


Friends


“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17


In Jesus’ life, you’d be hard pressed to find a better friend than Mary Magdalene. One of His earliest followers, her life was changed by her Savior, and from that moment, she stayed with Jesus. She was with Jesus as He taught. She raised support for Jesus as He ministered. She was with Jesus when He died. And, on the early morning of the resurrection, who was the first to see Him alive but His loyal friend. 


Jill and I have had the joy for many years to walk alongside godly women who have loved us at all times. Their support, encouragement, celebration, forgiveness, and grace have marked us and helped to make us. 


Thank God for friends. 


Sadly, there have been ages of our recorded history in which misogyny, bravado, prejudice, and fear have shaped empires, to the great shame and disservice of our cities and our sisters


I have grieved over unfortunate theologies that seem to elevate the fall of man over the cross of Christ, distorting the co-equal partnership between man and woman together into some form of servitude, as if behind a veil.


But the veil has been torn and if you’d listen, you’ll hear the echoes of Eden calling us to return to the giddy delight of the Savior who has now and forever made us one. Mighty daughters of God, I count it a joy to celebrate you in your rightful place beside your brothers. 


Thank you for making houses into homes and turning strangers into friends.


Thank you for planting seeds and watering souls


Thank you for the compassion in your strength and the strength of your compassion.


Thank you for sitting at the feet of Jesus and for joining Him by calling little ones sit at your feet


Thank you for the resilience of your faith and the wisdom of your voice.


Our story could never be “good” without you. My life has been shaped, nurtured, refined, and ignited because of you. With every sounding of my voice, it will forever be my joy to elevate and celebrate yours. To our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, and our friends — we bless you. We need you. We trust God’s Spirit in you. And we agree with God, linking our arms with yours and saying, “it is very good.”


Happy Mother’s Day. 



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