On one particular visit to my in-laws’ house, when my adult children were still babies, my mother-in-law gave me a piece of sound advice. As I was feeding our three daughters (all under eighteen months!), she said, “Linda, a mother loves all of her children the same, but it’s the children who grow up and make the difference.”
As a young mother, I really didn’t fully understand the meaning of her proverbial comment. But, as my daughters grew up and later married, her words of wisdom rang out sound and true. Children do make the difference. Anyone who has ever raised more than one child under the same roof knows all too well how differently the same, identical upbringings can produce very different children. Sometimes, you are not sure they all belong to you!
Having my children so close together, twins and then another daughter eighteen months later, I did my very best to give each daughter the same identical love. clothing, schooling, and opportunities in life. Actually, I tried to make a “state-of-the-art” event of it! If one child didn’t get something; then the other child would not get it; and vice-versa.
Today, all three of our daughters are Christians, well-rounded, and successful wives and mothers. They are very close one with another. Thankfully, no jealousies manifested between them as they are all each other’s best friends. I thank none other than Christ Jesus for having his hand upon their lives. But, each one possesses a different and very unique adult relationship with me and their father. Even though I see one more than the others, or see the others more than one, I have come to enjoy and respect the differences they bring into our lives.
With today’s busy schedules, it’s hard to get everyone together at once. I know, by experience, that this can bring a painful hurt to a mother’s heart when all of her adult children and grandchildren can’t gather at the same time. When this happens, you have to learn to have a good time and a blessed time in shifts! These things just seem to naturally happen.
But, all of this reminds me of our Heavenly Father with all of his many, many children. Some of his children visit Him on a regular, daily basis. They are eager to fellowship with their Heavenly Father, and I believe this brings joy to his heart. Some of his children he might hear from on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Others, maybe only once or twice a month. Some, he may only hear from on holidays or special occasions such as births and deaths. Even though the Father loves all of his children the same, it’s the children who make the difference.
God plainly states in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (everyone!) that He gave…” It didn’t read, “For God so loved this group or this individual…that He gave…” No, he loves us all the same; all of the time. But, it is all of us who makes the difference in our relationship with God. Personally, I want to be the child who visits the Heavenly Father every day or as often as possible. I want Him to know that I love him as I know that He loves me. My Heavenly Father knows that I am not perfect (and never will be); yet, He loves to fellowship with me as well as all of his children as often as possible.
One day “all” of his children will be at home together at the same time in Heaven. He won’t have to wait upon another child to pray or seek Him; we will all be there together at the same time! I know, from a mother’s heart, that it will be a wonderful day in Heaven when all of God’s saints (His children) gather together around the banquet table to have eternal fellowship with God, Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and one another. Praise the Lord….a true eternal day of Homecoming!
But, until that great and grand day, children will go on making the difference in their lives as well as the lives of their parents. No two children are; or ever will be, alike. But, that is OK. As parents, we still love each one the same!
I sincerely thank my now aging mother-in-law who lives in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s and can’t even remember all of her children and grandchildren’s names. Most of her conversations revolve around her childhood days. A few weeks ago, I asked her, “Mama Rollins, do you know who I am?” She replied, “Of course, I do. I saw you everyday when I got off the school bus.” Sadly, I had no idea who she was talking about. But, she joyfully laughed, and so did I. I’m so glad that one day no one will ever have to face Alzheimer’s or other dreaded diseases that take away our minds and bodies. Until then, thankfully, we have the blessed assurance that God loves each of his children the same.
Ask yourself today….How are you making the difference in your relationship with God, or with others? Are you visiting often, sometimes, on special occasions, or barely at all? Remember, it does make a difference.
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author