"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Proverbs 31:26-31
This week I have been honoring some women of the Bible leading up to Mother's Day. There are many incredible women whom God has used over the years to impact lives and shape cultures. How I thank God for the contribution of these godly females!
But this morning I want to take the privilege of honoring a contemporary woman of God. Today would have been the 88th birthday of Barbara's mother, Agnes Cummiskey. She has been in Heaven for almost four years now and we miss her. Certainly, you can't wish anyone back from Heaven. Would you leave Heaven to come back to this messed up planet? I don't think so!
Agnes perfectly typified the Proverbs 31 woman. She was beautiful, she was gracious, she was strong and determined, a devoted wife for 50 years, a model mother, a faithful church member, a talented contibutor in the work force, and a perfect mother-in-law.
For the sixteen years that Barbara was ill, her mother was her source of strength and stability during many painful and discouraging days. She was a rock despite the pain of watching her daughter waste away before her eyes. Her faith never waivered. There is always a strong bond between mother and daughter, but their relationship was exceptionally strong because of what they suffered together.
Barbara and I had the privilege of caring for her the last two years of her life so we got to witness the dignity with which she faced the loss of her physical strength due to spinal stenosis. She worried about becoming a burden to us, which would never happen. What ever adjustments were required in our lifestyle we gladly made. We saw it as a rare opportunity to repay her kindness and patience during Barbara's suffering.
We got to be at her bedside when she slipped into eternity. Just as she lived with grace, so she died. Our loss was Heaven's gain. She is now a treasure laid up in Heaven.
As many of you know, Mother's Day is a bittersweet holiday for those whose mothers are no longer among us. It will be tough for Barbara, just as today is. When someone lives so well and loves so deeply they leave a crater the size of the Grand Canyon in your heart. Time eases it but nothing erases it. We'll do Mother's Day without her, but we won't like it.
Today, on the anniversary of her birthday, we honor Agnes Cummiskey, a Proverbs 31 woman! She made God look good! She made faith look desirable. The world is a better place because she was here and Heaven is richer because she is there.
So, there is one less Porverbs 31 woman on this planet. Who step up to fill that gap? Will it be you? Will it be now? What will that require od you today?