Thus says the Lord, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for I delight in these things, declares the Lord." Jeremiah 9:23-24
Recently I came across a cassette tape where I had spoken at a Women’s Aglow Conference in Columbia, SC in 1990. At the time I was living in Sumter with my family. I did not speak or teach Bible studies when my children were growing up, because the Lord had shown me they were my disciples for that season of my life and to focus on them. I was wondering why I ever accepted doing something that was so out of my comfort zone especially when my children’s ages were six, four, two, and I was five months pregnant with my fourth child, Stephen.
An opportunity came to hear the tape as I have a friend with an older Volvo that still had a cassette player. We listened to it on a trip to Winston this week. They had invited me and another lady who was a mother and a runner. She had one son who was about to attend college. Interestingly they had put together speakers who were both considered prominent runners, and we were both Christian mothers who offered our experiences at different stages of motherhood from presently pregnant to sending off your first child to college. I am sure they also hoped we could encourage moms to stay fit during pregnancies, birth, and motherhood.
The lovely lady who spoke with me had one son whom she was very proud of, and shared his many achievements giving glory to God. She was a native in Sumter and had been recognized for her many achievements and accolades as a runner, and past and present employment she was now doing in her home. I listened to her inspiring message and then the tape flipped and I heard my message…
As I listened to the gracious introduction from the host, and then listened to my message, I was reminded of the verse in Jeremiah 9:23. Now, as thirty one years ago, there was really only one thing I could boast about worth hearing — I had an intimate relationship with the God who created me. I belonged to Him, and He belonged to me, and that is how I survive life on a daily basis.
As a runner at the time I had done some marathons, triathlons, and won a few races, but the only way I did was relying on the faithfulness and goodness of God for strength and ability. I have never run a mile then or now on my own. I always run with Him. I was perceived as a strong woman, but it is because He taught me in my weaknesses, He will be my strength.
As for wisdom, left to myself I have no wisdom, and I come under the delusion of lies and deception we are immersed in continuously in this world, without His Word to counter the lies. Again, because of an intimate relationship with the God who created all things and is all knowing I become wise as I allow His Word to consume my mind rather than the futile knowledge of this world. He told me through His Word found in Proverbs and James if I lacked wisdom, ask Him for His; I did and still do consistently.
As far as riches I can honestly say by His grace I have never considered that something to boast about. I grew up in a home that did not put more emphasis on materialism than the character of the man. I wasn’t taught to pursue riches, and frankly I always feared what I might become if I was ever truly wealthy according to the world’s standards.
I know I possess all that really matters in life. I have never lacked for anything no matter what my financial status has been throughout my life. The greatest needs I have is not for anything that can be purchased with gold or silver. I know I am extremely rich in all that matters now and forever. I do know the God who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth. I know His love. I am a product of His love. That is all I have to boast about, and it is more than enough now and it was then.
As my friend and I listened to the message I shared that day many years ago, we looked at each other and concluded nothing has changed. My life and family has radically changed since that day, but the truths I shared haven’t changed, and still defines who I am.
I could only share the importance of teaching your children the Word of God and to know Him intimately, because that is what my Father had taught me from reading His Word and seeking His face during time alone with Him. Having that time alone with Him was a struggle, and many nights it came in the middle of the night nursing my babies, or very early before anyone woke up. There were very few quiet times in a home with four children six and under.
I left my Bible open on the dining room table where I ended up at least three times a day to feed my family. I would just grab a verse when I could. I taped verses overy my kitchen sink where I spent a lot of time throughout the day.
I tried desperately to teach my children the value of establishing God’s Word as the authority in our home and give them the understanding we were all under that authority. I disciplined my children and myself with the Word of God. We learned together discipline is a form of love. I taught my children as my Heavenly Father taught me parents who love their children take the time to train them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. He is God and He is the only perfect source for truth that endures. A verse we often used when the children had conflict was Ephesians 4:32:
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
Often I would have them write out the verse they had disobeyed. Since I homeschooled I could further their writing skills with their discipline. Life is rather simple as you allow God to lead and will be very rich.
When you grow older you have a lot of life to reflect on. Thankfully for me all I can see is the faithfulness of God in my weaknesses. I, like Paul, thank God for my weaknesses, because it is how I have come to know Him so deeply in my heart. The times I deserved His love the least is when I felt His love the most. His love is unconditional. He is always there for His needy children, and this child is always in great need of His love and assurance that I am always safe with Him no matter what happens during this temporary life on earth.
May I conclude in agreement with Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-11:
And He said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
Allow Him and His Word to do for you what it has done for me and continues to. He has no favorites, and shows no partiality. He loves us all the same…perfectly always.
In His love.
This photo is a flash back when we ran together as a family which was a time I treasure greatly. We tried to support and participate every year in the Galax Parks and Recreation’s Fall Festival 5k Run. A friend took this picture and sent it to me. We had all won first place medals in our age groups. How special those times were, and oh how I miss those children!!