February 19, 2021: Because of My Mother
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11, KJV).
My mother’s passing at the age of 91 was “lost” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but I remember her and her great personal sacrifice when our father returned from the Vietnam War in 1968, only to abandon the family 10 days later.
The text says that God will “shew me the path of life,” but for a 15-year-old whose life had just imploded, I could not see my way forward. Thank God for a mother with a deep faith and a desire to follow truth wherever it led.
With only a high school education, she now began the struggle to find adequate employment to support my three younger brothers and me. Days were long and hard, but we always had food and shelter, and we never missed Sunday worship. I cannot recall a moment when our mother did not consider the care and the future of her four boys as the most important task of her hard life.
One day, my brother brought home a Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic handbill he found on the street. My mother attended those meetings faithfully and was baptized at the conclusion.
By now I was the “man of the house” and not enthused with her decision. However, the transformation in my mother’s character was a revelation of what Jesus can do to the human heart, and I silently observed her love for Christ. I was baptized three years later, and eventually became a pastor.
God, thank You that our Christian “joy” and “pleasures for evermore” sometimes come by the sacrifice of others. Amen.
Robert W. Snyder is the pastor of the Berwick, Danville and Shamokin churches in Pennsylvania.
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