“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
A couple of weeks ago I went out to Ohio to visit my Mom and celebrate a mile-stone birthday of hers with extended family and friends. I have profound admiration and respect for my mother. While she is not perfect, she has been a bastion of faith and perseverance. I have often liked her to the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2:9 in that she has known affliction and poverty, yet she is rich! She persevered through a difficult and painful first marriage of twenty-three years which ended in divorce. She recently buried an uncaring and unloving second husband to whom she was married for twenty-six years. She raised eight children to adulthood, for all practical purposes, as a single parent and she has invested more love, prayer and sacrifice into us than I can imagine. She is active in her church and has a vibrant and evolving faith as she strives to walk with her Savior daily. She has never had material wealth of any kind and has lived a life filled with trials. However, she is rich: rich in the heavenly treasure of faith. My mother, spiritually speaking, is a faith giant.
Presently at age seventy, she is finally reaping what she has sown. She has children who love her, who enjoy her company, who assist her with daily needs, and are the joy of her life. She has sixteen grandchildren ranging in ages twenty-seven to two. The older grandchildren, my two included, have incredible memories of the simple life on her farm: herds of cows to be milked, sheep to be sheared, flocks of chickens needing eggs gathered, and county fairs. The younger grandchildren have more recent memories of a Grammy who reads to them, builds puzzles, gives them cookies, and gently teases them with affection and humor. All of us, children and grandchildren are witnessing a life of faith sown in trials; a life lived in perseverance to endure through the trials.
Personally, I have praised God for providing me a tremendous model of faith in my mother. As I’ve written in the past, I have been in a lengthy season of trials. And the promise in James 1:2-4 has become my mantra as I hang on with all of my strength to the truth: I can rejoice in trials because the trials are producing perseverance. Perseverance is maturing my faith. My mother has modeled this perseverance and has taught me this mantra, and I am watching her reap what she has sown in laughter and tears, prayer, hard work, and commitment. I have faith that I will also reap what I am presently sowing: hard work, prayer, faithfulness, commitment, and trust. In my mother, I have living proof that God is a God who is faithful to His promises. One day I, also, will reap what I have sown.