I don’t know about you, but I find Mother’s Day a complicated holiday for a lot of different reasons. Some of you may as well. On the surface it looks like it’s made for Hallmark and Kodak moments and all those incredible things. And there’s a lot of ooey-gooey good sentiment that I love about Mother’s Day.
But I must tell you, I wrestle with some complicated emotions. Maybe some of you can relate. On one hand I have the absolute utter joy of celebrating Mother’s Day with my beautiful firstborn daughter, Amy, and our son, Joshua. But at the same time, there is a profound aching in our souls because Matthew, our youngest son, is not here with us. Our hearts are heavy. We miss him. We miss his loving presence.
Being a mother is a unique privilege. God’s Word says “Children are a gift from the LORD” (Psalm 127:3a NLT). As mothers, we receive that gift and experience the joy of pouring our heart and soul into our child’s life. At our core, we are wired to nurture and stand prepared to fiercely protect them from all danger. A mother’s soul is woven with the delicate threads of grace and the resilient fibers of love. Growing a deep soul is paramount to the health of a mother’s heart.
I think there are a couple of powerful core desires that all of us share. The first one is the desire to love and be loved. There is a powerful desire to belong and be a part of something. I think there is also something in all of us that wants to know that our time here on earth has meant something. That we haven’t wasted it. That it hasn’t just been that we’ve taken up space, breathed air and lived a little bit, and then died, leaving nothing of any remarkable quality behind. We want to feel that we mattered. We want to know that we left a legacy in some way.
Some go after this legacy idea with a vengeance. Some people decide from an early age that they are going to be the best. It may be the best in the financial world. It may be the best in the tech world. It may be in the world of politics or art or academics or writing. There are so many avenues in which we might decide that we’re going to be the best. And we’re going to try our very hardest to get there. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having big goals.
But here’s what I’ve noticed.
The vast majority of us don’t reach the pinnacle of human achievement. There aren’t many of us who ever become President of the United States, or start a company like Microsoft or Google, or have iconic buildings named after us, write best-selling books, or own a chain of restaurants across the world. That doesn’t happen to very many of us.
What I do see is this. Few people pour their energy into growing a deep soul. I hear few people saying, “In my life what I’m going to go after with a vengeance, with a passion, is grow my inner life.” The soul is eternal. Being president of this, owning that, having this, accumulating that – those things are temporary. The soul is everlasting.
The soul can grow to limitless capacity. You and I can never get to the place where we say, I’m done with that. Goal accomplished. My soul is as deep and as good and as wonderful as it’s ever going to be. You and I can never reach the pinnacle of growing a deep soul.
But what I love most about pursuing a deep soul is that it’s available to every single person. There’s not a person God created who cannot grow a deep soul. I can grow a soul that has breadth and depth and width to it. And so can you.
So it doesn’t matter what gender or race you are, or what your background is: you can be poor, or you can have a lot of money. You can have all of the perks in life. You could have started at the bottom. You could have come from poverty or from Madison Avenue.
It doesn’t matter. All of us have the same capacity to grow a deep soul.
What does Jesus say about it? In Matthew 22:37, we learn what a deep soul looks like. Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (NIV). He says if you want to be great, if you want to have a great soul, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Every single one of us can do that. It’s within my reach and it’s within your reach.
Perhaps that’s the greatest legacy any of us can offer. To know that at the end of our days what is said about us is not a list of 50 achievements that will be temporary and surpassed by someone else in another generation. Maybe the best thing that anybody will ever say about us after we’ve passed is not what we did. The best legacy we can leave is this: She loved the Lord her God with all her soul, heart, and mind. Within the very fabric of her being, she loved God.
This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to embrace every opportunity to grow roots deep in your soul. Steep your mind in God’s Word, and spend time daily in his presence. Delight in the discovery of his unfailing love for you. Praise him for the precious gift of being a mother, and let your soul be nourished by God’s gentle promise to find rest for your soul.