"I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life." —2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Mother’s Day, for many of us, is a difficult time. There is heartache at not having conceived a longed-for child as each month passes, the yearning for a family of our own, the sadness of pain that comes from misunderstandings and rifts between moms and rebellious children, and other heart wrenching issues that pound away at the very core of our families’ lives.
I understand on some level, because I, too, struggled to have children before God opened the door to the idea of adopting. Fast forward: our three “J’s” are the joy and delight of my life—Julie, Janie and Jonathan—all grown now. They are true gifts from their biological mothers, and from our heavenly Father who does all things well.
This month of May is the fruition and finale to springtime, which I love. The radiant and blossoming trees and shrubs I enjoyed so much during my recent Ohio book tour reminded me of the stages of each of our lives, which, when I consider the loss of a mother, father, and other dear ones, is truly sobering. Those sweet-smelling tree blossoms only last for a season, and then are gone. Just as our lives are described as “a vapor” in Scripture, compared to all of eternity.
When I think of my darling mother, gone now ten years, I can tell you that the fragrance of our Lord still lingers in the lives of those who came to know Him because of her gentle and fervent witness. I’m thankful Jane Buchwalter Jones was the mother God chose for me. Without her influence and encouragement, I doubt I would be pouring my heart and soul on the pages of books. I doubt I would be the woman, wife, mother, and author I have become.
My mother led me to Christ when I was just six years old. Her heart knew that our heavenly Father was calling me to follow His Son, even at that tender age. Mother had a heart for me, and for my sister, Barbara, and she laid down her life in ministry along with my father till her Homegoing in July 2006. Her cancer surgeon and other doctors at Lancaster General Hospital, never expected her to live more than six months after her inoperable cancer surgery when she was only 34—I was just a young girl (this story is fictionalized in my book, The Sunroom). Yet, my mother lived to be 84-years-old—an answer to thousands of prayers around the world. Even the doctors called her their “miracle girl,” and she outlived all of them. Amazing, yes…and to God be the glory!
So, our unbearable and discouraging times don’t have to end badly. We’re here to struggle and come out on the winning side, no matter the situation, because God is with us. He is for us, cheering us on, carrying us along…when we need His loving arms the most.
This spectacular springtime, I am counting my blessings, despite the dark days I’ve endured through the years, knowing I can count on our heavenly Father to be all that I need, all that I yearn for, every single day of my life.