I sat in an audience of eager parents, hoping to glean some wisdom from nationally renowned speaker Chris Stefanik.
Not only was this guy a dynamic and cutting edge youth evangelist, he was also the father of six, who understood the plight of all of us in the trenches of parenting.
Through his engaging wit, humor and passion, Chris pretty much had us all on the edge of our seats - from the beginning of his talk to the end. But at one point Chris stood on the stage, lifted his arm back, and pointed up to the massive crucifix hanging on the wall behind him.
With his hand still pointing back to the cross, Chris turned his gaze on all of us and said, “The love on that cross was aimed at MY kid.”
And then with equal conviction he followed, “The love on that cross was aimed at YOUR kid.”
When I heard Chris speak those words, it was as if time froze still.
And right there on that stage, I imagined my own son, standing there looking up at the cross.
Like the powerful force of water shooting out of a firehose, I saw this surge of love bursting from the heart of Jesus on the cross - aimed right at the heart of my boy.
I was transfixed by this vision so clearly before me.
Of course Chris moved on with his talk, but I didn’t move on with him. I was still hanging on to his explosive words and the crystal clear image of my son there before the cross.
At the time I had just created the Mother's Prayer Companion, and this profound moment added more fuel to the already intensifying fire burning in my heart - to pray like I’d never prayed before.
Chris’ words kept playing in my head, “The love on that cross was aimed at my kid.”
AIMED - at MY kid.
ALL OF IT... All the love, all the power, all the grace, all the life, all the truth, all the forgiveness, all the healing, all the freedom - all of it - Jesus meant for my kid! For your kid! And not just for our kids. For us, and for our husbands.
In that moment - when time seemed to stand still - I felt a fierce desire; an unswerving determination - to do whatever it would take - for my kid to receive that love - to receive everything - that Jesus had died and rose for him to experience.
Because here’s the thing - even though Jesus’ love is aimed right at my kid, it means nothing if he doesn’t open himself up to receive it. And he can’t receive it if he doesn’t know it, or know how to receive it, or even want it.
This is where we come in, mamas. This is where we roll up our sleeves and get on our knees, and pray like never before.
"All major things, events, in the history of salvation - have first been won in prayer
and then in action, the spiritual realm first not the physical." (Fr. Michael Scanlan)
Moms, God chose YOU to be a powerful intercessor for your child; a vital vessel of everything He has aimed at your kid. He intends to win the battle for their heart, and He invites you to win it first through prayer.
How thrilling is that?!!!
The Lord wants you, He needs you, He asks you - to stand in the gap for your children - so His love on the cross might penetrate and transform their lives.
I think about Cory Asbury's wildly popular worship song Reckless Love (click that link - listen to his live version and the beautiful story behind it)...
“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine…”
A mom’s love is reckless too. How recklessly will you fight for God’s love to break in and overwhelm your child’s heart?
How recklessly will you fight?
Prayer is our most powerful weapon in this fight for the hearts of our children. Through our intercession as moms, we chase down our children’s hearts - by first chasing down Jesus; fighting for them, til they’re found by Him.
This partnership with Jesus through prayer is such a privilege, and such a relief - to take my own overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love for my child, and unite it with His.
And sisters, there’s mighty power in that partnership.
I don’t know about you, but I want it all. I want everything on that cross aimed at my kid. And I won’t stop fighting until my heart stops beating.
And when it does, I’ll spend my heaven fighting some more.
That’s the reckless love of mom.
So let’s do this, moms. Let’s pray recklessly for the reckless love of God.
(My heartfelt thanks to Michael Valera, who captured this priceless photo of his own son - on the very stage upon which Chris Stefanik spoke those unforgettable words into my heart.)