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A Mother’s Day Meditation–

Foundation Work

Sometime what you can’t see is really more impressive than what you can see. The Sears Tower in downtown Chicago is a good example. What you can see is an amazing building that reaches a quarter mile straight into the air, features 110 stories, and yet in the strongest of winds sways a mere six inches from true center at her very top. Very impressive.

Now consider what you can’t see. You can’t see that supporting this massive structure above is a complicated substructure featuring some two million cubic feet of concrete. The mighty tower wouldn’t be standing were it not for a hole in the ground that was deeper than most buildings are tall. One hundred feet beneath the surface a maze of circular caisons are anchored in solid bedrock, supporting and stablizing the building above. More impressive.

The same principle is true of people. Like buildings, people need strong foundations too–not to stand high and proud or to tower over others, but to merely withstand a lifelong attack of wicked influences against them. Like Chicago’s famous tower, what you cannot see–the substructure–is more important than what you can see–the structure itself.

It is here that parents, mothers in particular, have a keen opportunity. Consider:

As an adult Moses turned his back upon the posh lifestyle of the palace and cast his lot with the people of God instead. This took incredible faith, as Scripture indicates (cf. Heb. 11:23ff). Such faith didn’t come from the palace. It came from a foundation that had been laid in his early childhood by his parents.

In the very short time that she had him, Moses’ mother was able to instill in her child the solid foundation of God’s Word. How Moses received his name, in fact, was a lingering witness to the faith of his parents who “by faith” had hidden him in the rushes against Pharaoh’s decree. Each new day his mother recognized the limits of her time with him, and set about to lay a foundation that would support him through life. It worked.

Other Examples

Hannah’s time with her son, Samuel, was necessarily short too. Once-a-year visits could hardly serve as enough time to pass along the faith and to teach her son to build his life upon the promises of God. Of necessity she acted quickly, and lost no time in laying a foundation for her son while he was young. Though he would grow into manhood far from home, surrounded by the unbelieving sons of Eli, Samuel had what he needed most: a sturdy foundation for his life of faith.

We know little about Timothy’s childhood other than the most important thing: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Who was responsible for leading Timothy to the foundation of God’s grace? No question about it: “I thank God . . . when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice” (2 Tim. 1:3,5).

Foundation work, like so much of motherhood, is not glamourous and scarcely receives the attention it deserves. People aren’t usually impressed by things they cannot see.

But is there any work more important than leading your children to the Rock of their salvation–to the place where a lifetime of sin is washed clean and one can stand before God with the righteousness of Christ? Could anything be more valuable and impressive than that?

–Pastor James Albrecht