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Apprehended . . . and Reaching Out

Sep. 12, 2014

"We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has apprehended us." Any chance you feel "apprehended" as you begin this Mom to Mom year?

These words of Oswald Chambers (from My Utmost for His Highest, June 28) came to me as I was preparing to speak at a leadership training for Titus 2 leaders. I discovered that Chambers based his comment on Philippians 3:12, which, in the old KJV, speaks of being "apprehended of [by] Jesus Christ." The NKJV talks about being "laid hold of."

Isn't that what Jesus does when He calls us to lead and love others? He "apprehends" us, "lays hold" of us. We are in His grip—and when He calls us to a place, there's no other place in the world you really want to be.

But what are we apprehended for? The Message paraphrase describes us "reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for us." Isn't that what we're called to? To "reach out" to others to point them to the One Who "so wondrously reach[es] out for us"?

How do we do this? The phrase "we reached out to…" is overused in today's media, but one little verse tucked away in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel amazes me in its relevance to our calling as Titus 2 leaders. In 1 Samuel 23:16 we read: "And Saul's son Jonathan went to David in Horesh and helped him find strength in God." The context is David's desperate flight from the murderous rage of Jonathan's increasingly insane father, King Saul. It's an ancient story. But three things jump out of this verse that apply directly to Mom to Mom:

  1. Jonathan knew where David was. It couldn't have been easy in those days—no emailing or texting or Facebook messaging. But somehow, Jonathan worked his sources and knew. The first thing we can do for our moms is help them feel known. We get it: who they are, where they are, and what they need. That's no small gift in today's impersonal computerized world. I'm reminded of the mom who once described Mom to Mom as feeling at first like sort of a "Cheers with childcare"—where everyone knows your name and they're really glad you came. The welcoming atmosphere kept her coming until she met the true Welcomer.
  2. Jonathan went and found David. We reach out to our moms and love them in the ways they need to be loved: to be listened to, cared about, and prayed for. How startled I was to receive a note from one mom saying, "Right now, Mom to Mom is the only place in my life I feel truly loved." There are many steps ahead on her journey, for sure—but how thankful I was that she felt reached out to and loved at Mom to Mom.
  3.  Jonathan helped David find strength in God. Thankfully, Jonathan was not the strength—He was simply there to come alongside and point to the Source. I remember a conversation with a mom who shared how, struggling with a significant disability, she had found it hard to feel God's love for her. "But this year in Mom to Mom," she said, "is the first time I've really gotten it—really felt God's love." She went on: "And you know, Linda, when you know God loves you—really loves you—it changes everything." Indeed!
Do your moms feel known, loved, and pointed toward God? This is my prayer for each of you as together we launch into a new year of Mom to Mom.

In His grip,
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