“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.… You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.” (2 Peter 1:3; 3:17)
“I’d be a better mom if I could just get more sleep.”
This was my waking mantra each morning of early motherhood for months. Okay, maybe a few years.
Motherhood took me by surprise. What I mean by that is, the challenges and hard days of motherhood took me by surprise. I didn’t expect them. Oh, I knew I’d have less sleep. But I thought I was prepared overall to be a mom. I had studied and prepped for motherhood long before I ever held my child in my arms. I thought I knew what I would do and say in each situation. I thought I knew what my child would need and that I would be capable of providing it.
Soon enough (no surprise there!) I learned I didn’t have what it takes. I am weak. I am insufficient. I don’t have the wisdom I need. I don’t have the strength. I really don’t have the patience. The challenges of motherhood showed me I did not have what it takes to be the mom I want to be.
So what did I do? I turned and looked to things outside myself for the help and hope I needed. First order of business: find a way to get more sleep, because if I got more sleep, all my struggles would go away—or so I thought. At some point I did get more sleep, but you know what? I still struggled with my weakness and insufficiency as a mom. I kept turning to other things, hoping to find the thing that would make motherhood work. I kept thinking: If only ____ happened, then I would be a good mom.
This passage in 2 Peter reminds us that while we don’t have what it takes within our own strength, wisdom, or ability to live out our responsibility as moms, God has provided the resources we need. We don’t have to look elsewhere; we already have what we need. Peter wrote, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (emphasis mine). Did you catch that? All things! Moms, this is huge!
Through faith in Christ and what he did for us in his perfect life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection, we now have access to every spiritual blessing. We are united to Christ, who is wisdom for us. We have his Spirit living within us, who teaches us, trains us, comforts us, convicts us, and transforms us. We have direct access to the Father, and can cry out to him in prayer, asking for all that we need.
What this means is, we can live out our callings as moms through the resources God has already provided. We don’t have to despair over our weaknesses. We don’t have to be frustrated by our lack of wisdom. We don’t have to worry or fear that we are doing it all wrong. We don’t have to turn to false teaching or idols or any kind of counterfeit hope. The gospel, the good news of who Christ is and what he has done, provides what we need to be the moms God has called us to be.
I think this is what Mary knew when the angel came and told her the astounding news she would be with child. She responded, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Later, she sang a song, praising God for his work in her: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:46–49).
God didn’t call Mary to be the mother of Christ because of something special within her. He didn’t call her to bear the Savior of the world because she was somehow more capable than someone else. He called her by his grace and made her sufficient by his grace. Despite her age, inexperience, poverty, and insignificance, he called her and enabled her to be the mother of our Savior.
And so he does with us.
This time of year, as we reflect on the birth of our Lord, let us remember its significance for our lives as moms. That baby that Mary carried and delivered and wrapped in swaddling cloths grew up to be our Savior. Through him, we have all we need as moms. Like Mary, we are made sufficient by God’s grace in and through us.
Through him, we have all we need.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION/ APPLICATION:
Do you ever look to yourself or to things outside of yourself for strength, wisdom, and ability in your motherhood? What are those things?
What does it mean to you that God has provided all that you need to live out your calling?
Christina Fox is a wife and a mom to two boys. She serves on the national women’s ministry team of the PCA and is the editor of the enCourage blog. She is the author of A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament, Closer Than a Sister: How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish, and Idols of a Mother’s Heart. You can find her at www.christinafox.com.