North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    After a hard-fought battle during the Civil War, a Confederate chaplain was called to see a dying Soldier. Taking his hand, he asked, “My brother, what can I do for you?” He supposed that like many other wounded Soldiers; he wanted him to plead with God to spare his life and take the pain away. But this young fellow was different.    “Chaplain,” he said, “I want you to cut a lock of hair for my mother. And then chaplain, I want you to kneel down and return thanks for me.”

    “I can do that. But what is it your thankful for?” asked the chaplain.

    “For giving me such a mother. She’s been so good to me. Her teachings are my comfort. Because of her loving influence and teachings I’m now a Christian, and I’m able to look up into Heaven and say, Our Father who art in Heaven.” What would I do now if I weren’t a Christian? And chaplain, thank Him for my promised home in glory. I’ll soon be there to wait for and to welcome mother.”

    And so the chaplain knelt by the side of the Soldier’s death-cot, not to utter a word to spare his life, but only to echo through prayer the praise and thanksgiving of a dying young boy, for a good mother, a Christian hope, dying grace, and an eternal home in Heaven.

    It’s this thought of God as One who loves us personally what we should give thanks for. As our hearts respond faithfully in obedience and gratitude, our thoughts of a great big God are transformed into our hearts where we can say tenderly, “My God and my salvation. For this I am thankful”.

    Our mothers are known for making things better. As a child, we cry out for her when we fall down and scrap our knee. As we grow in wisdom and stature we learn to trust in God and we instinctively cry out to God who can make all things right within our soul. We have in a mother’s love, a figure, which God has used to make Himself known to us, a suggestion of the sacrificial love which caused Him to come to our rescue when we were poor sinners. How thankful are we for this life saving action? There’s no other illustration that can come so near, adequately picturing that compassion and love which is revealed in the statement of Jesus that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

    How like the mother’s heart is the tenderness of God. That He seeks after us in our sins, and continues to do so, though we wonder off in our own ways. How thankful we should be for this alone! God’s provision is what helps us to endure the struggles we face. Blessings come and go, but the love of God, despite our waywardness is an anchor for our soul. It’s the greatest blessing. The person that refuses to move because of God’s love is perhaps the hardest thing in the world to understand. Those who grit their teeth and turn from the glory of the One that created them, yield themselves to an indifferent world that actively works to destroy their life and their spirit to live.

    There’s perfect restfulness and peace found in the motherhood of God. God is our defender and refuge, and an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). If a child has anything it wants to keep, something that’s precious and it wants to be sure that it’s defended against all comers, it turns to its mother. Mothers are great treasure-keepers. So if we will give our hearts to God in grateful obedience, we know that He will keep it safe. He has the strength, wisdom, and He has the love to keep forever what we commit to His hands.

    This can be the personal theme for us throughout our life. A person doesn’t have to keep on living with a vague and indifferent idea about God, Christ, Heaven, and the immortal life. I call you to something infinitely more precious than that. God loves you with the tenderness of a mother’s heart. In your loneliness, in your sorrow, in your cries for help. Remember the Words of Isaiah 66:13: “I (God) will comfort you as a mother comforts her child.”

    In your thanksgiving this season, whether you’re sorrowful or sinful or not feeling very thankful because of losses in your life, count the blessings of God—name them one by one. There’s infinite compassion and love to be found. Find forgiveness in Him and you will feel the power of thanksgiving grow stronger and stronger within you.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He has published nine books that can be purchased on These books include the “Living With Purpose” series Volumes 1-3. You can contact him at:

Posted by on Nov 20 2016. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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