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 dimmed 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 possibility of 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/her 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 myself. 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 and what they were created for? What is their purpose here to serve?
We should be praying, “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 has 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 and 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 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 to 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 lose out on amazing opportunities to grow because “we know best.”
Pray the Prayer for Children on the Prayer Page. The full teaching is available on our Resource Page; One a Day; 30 Days of Prayer with the Women of the Bible, Book 2