The crow’s caw echoed across the vast, open wilderness. The soldiers’ laughter broke the deafening silence, causing her to cast her eyes down towards them. Calloused hearts played lots for the cloth of the man condemned to die. Her small hand gently reached down to find the weathered worn hand of her son. Lifting her eyes once more, tears streaming down her face, Salome looked on as Jesus of Nazareth strained to breathe.
Her vision dim as her mind recalled the moment she pleaded for her sons to sit on either side of his kingdom. Blurred from the salty wetness, dirt and wind, her eyes gazed up on either side of Jesus now. Two thieves hung beside the Christ as he struggled for air; either side of him convicted men. Her hand tenderly squeezed John’s hand as her heart compassionately broke from the excruciating pain being suffered, but thankful her sons were not on either side.
“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
‘What is it you want?’ he asked.
She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’
‘You don’t know what you are asking.’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am gong to drink?’
‘We can’, they answered.
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” (Matthew 20:20-28).
If anyone wants to become great, they must become a servant first. There is something you do not here in society today. Some dream of the possible of having living in luxury, never lifting a finger; commanding and demanding the very best out of life. Jesus came to serve and we as Christians are called to do the same. As parents we want the best for our children. We desire to give them all the things we did not have, but at what cost is it beneficial to the children to gain the whole world, but loose his soul?
Salome sought the best for her sons, honorary positions beside our King, but little did she know what she was truly asking for. I think witnessing the thieves on either side of the cross spoke volumes to her spirit. Christ came to the ones who are sick and need help, those who need tireless service, compassion, sympathy and love for these are the ones who need a doctor. Christ washed the feet of the disciples, peered in to the hearts of those seeking Truth, tirelessly preached and taught what love and forgiveness were. He never seated himself in the palace, high positions, mansions filled with gold drippings of priceless paintings and art where in some time will be destroyed by rust and moths.
The Lord gives woman the miraculous living giving womb where his children are formed and molded in the secret place. God has formed each one of his children in his chosen time and season; different gifts and talents; different unique personalities, eye color, thumb printed solely of each individual on this earth. Our Lord’s creativity never ceases to amaze me, but what amazes even more is we tend to dictate to God what he needs to do with those gifts. I am guilty of this my self. Parents can encourage their children in what sport they like, “Well son our family as always played,…..” Grooming them to be the best in school, “Well daughter, no one in our family has ever received less than A’s, we’re doctors and specialists! Groom our children to serve their country for that is what is passed down from generation to generation. But, as parents are we asking the Lord and praying over his gifts, his children, what were they created for? What is their purpose here to serve you? Help me as a mother, father or care-giver to see those gifts, encourage them and train them to use them in service.
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac for God’s purposes knowing he could bring him back if so chose to. Hannah took Samuel to the Temple were God had graciously heard her pray for a son and promised to return him to the Lord. Jochebed gave Moses back to the Princess to live in the Palace as redeemer for God’s people out of slavery. What has your child been gifted for?
Our eldest son loves to play soccer. I know nothing about soccer. During my youth, I was a swimmer; Tommy played baseball, enjoys football and bowling. Neither of us had played soccer, ever! We see the potential in Nicholas, his desire and love for the game; instead of diminishing that desire, instead of making him play a sport he does not like or is gifted in and instead of snuffing out the gift God has given him, we encourage an attempt to learn what we can about soccer. I have three different children, whom all look different, with different personalities, with different gifts and talents. Just in my family along, God reveals his unique qualities in designing unique one of a kind individuals who can be used for his service.
I encourage you as a mother, please do not force you own ideals on your children. Salome had no idea what she was saying until she saw the two thieves on the cross. I believe her heart desired the best for her sons, as are ours, but forcing your intentions, your own dreams and desires on a child that is not equipped for them will only cause misery and heartache. I wonder how many people are in jobs they detest to carry on “tradition” in the family. I wonder how many people have lost out on opportunities o witness in various regions of the worked, but attended, lived and resided in the college, city or country their family does because, “Well, that ‘s just where our family lives.” How sad for the kingdom of God to loose out on amazing opportunities to grow because “we know best.”
Abba Father, Adonai, Maker of Heaven and Earth,
Bend your ear down low and listen to your daughter’s heartfelt cries, our prayers and our thankful hearts. I pray the desires of our hearts are focused on your will and not our own. I pray you bring us into complete submission before you and the perfect plan you have for our lives. I pray we are as strong as Hannah, bringing all our requests and laying them at the foot of your cross. As wives, bring us into submission before you and our husbands. As mothers, open our hearts to bring each child to you for your service and purpose. May each of us sing a hymn of praise to you, a song full of joy and thanksgiving for your mercy and graciousness bestowed upon us. May you open the eyes and hearts of your daughters to your Word, the purpose of Salome’s story for our lives and give each of us a deeper revelation of you.
Father, open the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18) give me a hymn of praise to sing to you (Ephesians 5:19), encouraging others along the way (Ephesians 4:29). May I boast only in the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14) and His precious blood spilled as my High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). I pray the children you have given me or will give me are used in a mighty way for your kingdom, planting a harvest for you in the next generation (Colossians 1:6). May each grow to be in your service, a powerful voice as Samuel’s and may I be a mother who can let go, giving them to you for your perfect will and timing (1 Samuel 1:28). May I train them in the way they should go and when they are older they will never depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). I pray your laws, wisdom, guidance are tied around their neck like garland and each are quick to respond to your will (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Guard my mouth lest I sin against you (Psalms 39:1, 19:14, James 3:9, Job 2: 10) and believe in your promises, your Word and Truth will never return void (Isaiah 55:11). Your word says instead of the thorn bush, the pine tree will grow; instead of briers the myrtle will grow (Isaiah 55:13).You can open the womb with the breath of life, but until that time comes, I will rejoice and be thankful for the gifts and talents you’ve given me to use for your service. Open my heart for a deeper relationship of faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13, Hebrews 11:1-3). May I never be resentful, demand my own timing, provoking to another, jealous or covet what another sister of mine has (Galatians 5:26). I believe in the power of the resurrection, healing and hope of Jesus Christ for your word says he settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). I pray for godly women friends, counselors and sisters in Christ who are in the same situation as I am to comfort, pray and give thanks to you. May we always lift your name on high and hope in the things we can not see (Hebrews 11-3). In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen.