How many here know you are Loved? Okay, that’s a good show of hands… next question. How many of you here know who it is that Loves you the most? Can you tell me who that is? God? Naaaa… do you really think so? Tell me how you know this.
I was thinking back about my life. I was recalling who it was that was always there for me and who I could always depend on to be at my side. Likewise, I thought about how I “paid them back” or how much I did, or didn’t, appreciate what I had.
I know it’s not Mother’s Day or even close to it but, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my past, my Mother, and the Love I was granted as well as where I believe it came from.
Love of a Mother
Mom thought the world of me. She treasured me as a gift from God. She was a Godly woman indeed and always tried to convey to me the Love of God and how I should never forget.
One sunny summer afternoon, as a small child, I was out playing with all my friends. We liked climbing trees and we also strove to out-do one another by reaching higher heights and performing risky actions at those heights.
I had climbed-up a rather skinny tree. I chose that one because it had a lot of branches to swing from. As I recall, I was up about 20 or so feet on the tree. I grabbed onto a small branch and hung from it with one hand, acting as a monkey.
Without realizing how weak that particular branch was, it snapped off and I went falling to the ground. I landed on the back of my neck… and heard another “snap!”
After this, I don’t remember too much at all. The one thing I did recall was my Mother. Out of my “numbed” or “deadened” state, I could see her running towards me. I heard her cries, “Oh God no, please God no!”
When she reached me, she could sense something was terribly wrong. She then laid her hands on me and closed her eyes. Clearly, she was praying.
When I eventually came-to, the ambulance and all the paramedics were gather around me. Still, I was groggy and unaware of whatever it was they were doing. What I do remember was hearing my Mom. All she kept saying was, “Don’t worry Stephen, God is here!”
When I eventually woke-up in the hospital, my Mom was sitting by my bed. Head down and hands crossed. Again, praying.
I asked her, “Mom, what happened to me?” Her response was quick to respond with, “Son, you’ve broken your neck but you’re going to be okay. ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’” She was quoting Psalm 46:1.
My recovery was, thankfully, rather quick as the break wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Mom kept reminding me, “Stephen, don’t forget to thank your Father in Heaven for saving you on that day… and remember.”
God is here son, you just can’t see Him!
My Biggest Fan
Like a lot of kids in high school, I played a lot of sports. I did the baseball thing; soccer; and my favorite… football.
Every game I played, my Mom was there. She’d always sit by herself, on a single little bench on the sidelines so she could get the best view. I can still hear her as I would catch a pass and run towards the end-zone, “C’mon Stephen, you can run faster than that!”
When half-time came, my Mom could be seen dragging bag full of oranges towards my team’s bench. As a teenager, and as you can imagine, I hated that! How embarrassing to an aspiring football star… to have his “Mommy” bring snacks to “all the kids!”
We weren’t the greatest team in the league and lost a lot. My Mom didn’t care. While she would be passing out the oranges and no matter how far we were down, she would say, “You can do all things through Him who strengthens you.” Once again, Mom was quoting the Bible – Philippians 4:13. Understand kids…
God is here, you just can’t see Him!
How She Healed Me
Later on in life, I had joined the military. The United States Air Force to be precise. There came a time when I was severely hurt. An artery in my stomach had been torn and I was bleeding internally, loosing blood faster than they could give me more.
I was dying… and very much afraid. My Mom, having driven down through the night was again, at my bedside. She was sitting beside me, holding my hand.
When I awoke, she looked me right in the eyes, squeezed my hand tighter and said, “Remember Son, ‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.’” This verse, the quoted from Jeremiah 30:17. By the grace of God, I survived. And again… reminded by my Mother…
God is here son, you just can’t see Him!
My Mom had become quite ill. Alzheimer’s, coupled with Dementia. My Brother had put her into Hospice care at a local nursing home where he would visit her nearly every day.
It had become very hard to speak with her over the phone. She couldn’t remember my name; where I was; or that I was even her son.
On the morning of April 18, 2014, I received a call from my Brother. He was at the home with Mom. “Hey Stephen, Mom would like to say hi!” My only thoughts were, oh boy, here we go again and I’m going to be late for work!
Nonetheless, I took the phone call. I heard my Brother telling her, “Mom, its Stephen, your Son.” Then her hoarse little voice came on the line, “Hello Stephen, Jesus Loves you!” The call was short as she really couldn’t muster-up much else to say.
At 3:17 AM on the very next day, I received the call from my Brother. “Steve, Mom went home this morning. She passed with her Bible in her right hand.”
I knew God was there, I just couldn’t see Him!
…but how had I treated the one who believed in me the most? I had let the ways of this world dominate my every thought. I wanted everything the rest of the world wanted: money, fancy cars, nice houses, the best of everything!
In putting all of my efforts in these things, I had forsaken what I had known, at that time, to be the greatest Love in the world… my Mother!
And Still, I am Loved
Today, after facing many tragedies and pit-falls in my life, I have come to realize everything my Mother was trying to teach me. My Mother had always tried to teach me on the Love of God and, thankfully, after suffering through these tragedies, I got it!
If you may recall my story, I suffered a tremendous loss in May of 2013. I lost the Love of my Life to “The Beast,” as I call him, called depression.
I did it all… drinking, smoking, dabbling in whatever drug I might find to help me feel better but not get caught. Searching for fights with people twice my size so I could “prove myself” to myself.
But it wasn’t until that one early morning, when I had reached the ultimate low and was lying on the floor in my living room. Naked, still drunk from the night, and crying… until the Bible on the table next to me opened to a page where I read this verse:
Malachi 4:2 – “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.”
This is the verse, I suspect, sent to me from my Mother and, more realistically, from my God. After reading this verse and deciding the Sunrise would be where I find my peace, my life has changed.
Now I Know
Yes, my Mother Loved me unconditionally. More importantly, and as she had always wanted me to understand, God Loves me even more! I have come to realize this more and more with every day that passes.
With every struggle I go through… my God is with me! Jesus walks beside me through the good… and through the bad. He is ALWAYS there. I am filled with The Holy Spirit each day I wake and unafraid of the challenges I know I will face!
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Thanks Mom… I get it now… that’s me… that’s what God has done for me! This I know now and will forever understand. I will never forsake Him as I know He has never forsaken me!
I miss my Mother, but I know this… She Loved me dearly and I Loved her. This means that she took a piece of my heart with her and I, to this day, hold a piece of hers. She is not really gone! So, when I’m at the beach, I hear my God whisper to me…
She is here son, you just can’t see her!
Thank You Mom
I will, for the rest of my days here in this world, remember what my Mother taught me:
When I am afraid…
Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
When I am struggling with challenges…
Philippians 4:13 – “You can do all things through Him who strengthens you.”
When I am ill, or feeling weak…
Jeremiah 30:17 – “’But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.”
Thank You God
Thank you, Lord, for all that you have given me. Thank you, Lord, for all I am yet to receive. Thank you for always being there for me, in good times and in bad. Thank you for presenting the challenges that strengthen me and make me a better man… a Godly man!
(Please note, you must be logged-in to Facebook to view this video)
Okay, now back to the beginning of this little lesson. Yes, you are Loved. Yes, it is God that Loves you like no man, woman or child of this world can Love you.
Your past is of no matter to our God. He Loves you despite your failures. He Loves you despite your sin. He Loves you for exactly who you are, not what you think you should be but WHO YOU ARE!
He will never forsake you. He will never abandon you. He has been there since the beginning and will be there at the end… into all eternity!
He is at your football game. He is at your soccer game. He is with you through everything you do. When you play, see Him sitting on the sidelines, cheering your name and jumping up and down at your successes!
Let us never forget this fact. Let us never turn our backs on Him. Let us forever treasure our relationship with God and give Him thanks every day!
Don’t ever take for granted your Father in Heaven. While your Mother, or your earthly Father, may have been there with you as my “Football Mom” was… supporting you in all you do, God will be there always!
Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless (Amen)!