“…a mother to me, too.”
I’ve been really enjoying our reading through the New Testament challenge. This morning when I was completing Romans, I came upon a verse that probably is often skipped in terms of spiritual significance. And yet, it stuck out to me:
“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.”
– Romans 16:13
Hearing Paul fondly remember Rufus’ mother struck a chord with me. How many of us have people like Rufus’ mother in our lives? People who are like mothers to us. Those whom God has so specifically placed in our lives for our encouragement and enjoyment. Maybe life has not naturally provided you with a mother, a father, or another significant relationship. And yet, you aren’t lacking, because you have people in your life who fill those roles seamlessly. Those people are not there by accident.
I grew up with an amazing set of grandparents. Grams and Gramps, as we affectionately refer to them, are some of the most thoughtful, loving, and generous people in all of God’s creation. They took pride in being my grandparents and never missed an opportunity to brag about us. Their cozy house in beautiful South Carolina is covered in pictures of my sister and I. Never has a birthday, Christmas, Easter, or Valentine’s Day gone by without a little treat coming from them in the mail. They are simply the world’s best grandparents.
Except…they’re not my grandparents. Well, not by blood, anyway. You see, my own grandparents on both my mother and father’s sides sadly passed on to be with Jesus before I was even old enough to get to know them. By six years old, I was grandparent-less. Not only that, but my mother and father were left parentless. Meanwhile, my mom’s aunt and uncle remained grandchildren-less. Their only daughter didn’t have children, and they found themselves with a lot of love to give. My sister and I became the unbelievably blessed recipients of that love. Somehow, they came to be my Grams and Gramps, and we, in turn, their grandkids. On my wedding day, they were listed as the grandparents of the bride. Today, they love my kids as their very own great-grandkids. By all intents and purposes, they are my grandparents, DNA evidenced or not.
Watching God provide for this hole in my relational circle fills me with a sense of awe. God knew there was a need there in my life, and He filled it. In doing so, He also filled a need in my grandparents’ lives. We needed grandparents, and they needed grandkids. God saw fit to meet two needs in one.
This morning when I read Paul’s words, I smiled. I know what it’s like to see God bring someone into my life that is “…a mother to me, too.” Today, instead of focusing on what you don’t have relationally, remember instead the people He has given to you. Thank Him for His provision and for knowing what you need. He is a loving Father, and that is never more evident, perhaps, then in situations like these.