My Mother's Vineyard
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The safest place I have ever rested was in my mother’s arms. Initially, the nurse gently laid me there that warm August evening. A little package Mom immediately unwrapped with the attendant’s departure. As every new mother does, mine examined me for any imperfections. Passing her inspection, we spent time bonding. Little did I realize how blessed I was to enter this family tree.
My mother. Accomplished, poised, sensitive, and profoundly wise. An outstanding instructor to educate her brood. She prepared me for every stage of life I would encounter. Loved me, defended me, corrected me, and challenged me. Not a single lesson wasted, though I couldn’t fully appreciate this until exiting childhood. Without her sacrifices, I wouldn’t be here. No breath drawn without hers first, for she gave me my very life.
Ezekiel captured the deepest, hidden role of all mothers. He incorporates genetics, but more importantly, the influence a mother has on her children spanning their entire lives.
“Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters…”a
A vine in our blood. Shared DNA, but also the ability to stretch and wind her tendrils around the inexperienced for support. She literally becomes our ladder. Being planted herself by the waters indicates her nourishment is from an alternate source. The scene becomes spiritual. She draws from the Giver of Life, the True Vine, and imparts this sustenance to us. A spiritual umbilical cord. Her life, in our lives—influencing and causing us to thrive.
God wove His mothering heart deep into the hearts of our mothers. She comforts, listens intently, doesn’t grow weary of the daily cares and demands placed upon her. She is designed for this load. She’s our doctor, cheerleader, therapist, chef, teacher, life coach, and mentor. She is the one we run to first when injured or hungry; wearing the uniform of the Good Samaritan.
Mothers are often faced with difficult assignments concerning their children. Dark threads must be woven into the fabric to amplify the beauty of bright pastels. God thoughtfully gave us several biblical heroines to guide mothers in the difficult seasons they would surely encounter.
Jochebed had a son she was unable to raise herself through no fault of her own. Her lastborn babe and apple of her eye threatened an insecure Pharaoh. God, however, needed a deliverer for His people. In her last effort to save his tender life, she released him into the unknown, tearing her life in two.
“But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.”
A crying, tasty appetizer for crocodile-infested waters bobbed in an ark along its surface. Hers was no easy choice, with a part of her heart walking around outside of her body for four decades. It is here we see her faith in God sparkle. Releasing Moses into his destiny launched one of the most powerful weapons known to man. “The praying mother.” If you are blessed with one, then you already know. These “soldiers” are a force to be reckoned with. They keep praying when others stop. Will fast when others won’t. Will stand up when others sit down. How many lives abruptly turned around followed by the remark, “Well, I had a prayin’ mama.” These strategists are doubled in power if the grandmother’s involved.
“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”
The apostle Paul understood the spiritual heritage of the maternal vine that reaches deeply into subsequent generations. Implanted faith from praying women who understand the secret things of God. These silent warriors activate the “Moses” in us, that we might do greater exploits for God’s kingdom, offering prayers with proven results.
Like Ezekiel and Paul, I recognize the contribution my mother and grandmother gifted me. Mom paved my way to be born a second time into the Kingdom of God. Her personal legacy was to plant goodness and mercy into the lives of her children, thus fertilizing the branches of our family tree.
God eternally keeps His promise to my precious mother, by richly blessing my life and posterity. Though no longer here with us, Mom powerfully lives on, through me.
© 2011 Susan M. Watkins, used with permission.
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