My Mother's Friend
James Smith, 1860
Whose heart is not affected, when a reference is made to his mother? There is something sacred about a mother, especially a Christian mother — and a Christian mother in Heaven. Memory having recorded, recalls the past:
The mother's features.
The mother s voice.
The mother's tears.
The mother's counsels.
The mother's prayers.
These, though like buried seed, they may be forgotten for a time, will spring up, be remembered, and influence us again.
It was so with a young friend. She had been giddy, thoughtless, mirthful. She enjoyed worldly pleasures — and while health lasted, all seemed to go on well. But there was a change. Health failed. Her prospects were blighted. Her heart was sad. She was much alone, and felt very lonely. Her thoughts went back to the past. Her mother seemed to live again. She thought of that mother's sorrows and joys, of her trials and triumphs — and could not but contrast her mother's state of mind with her own. She dwelt long and seriously on the subject, inquired into the cause, and at length, as if she had just found it out, she said with a sigh, "My Mother's friend was Jesus!"
Happy mother, to have Jesus for a friend, for he is a friend who loves at all times, a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Yes, Jesus was my sainted mother's friend, he supported her under her trials. She could trust in his word. She could lean on his arm. She could make sure of his aid. She knew that he would never fail her nor forsake her. She had tried him for many a long year, and she could trust him now. Nor did he disappoint her hope. She found him faithful. Many and severe were her trials — but her supports were answerable. His strength was made perfect in her weakness.
Jesus was my mother's friend — and he comforted her in all her tribulations. His sweet smile, his loving voice, his faithful word, gave her the sweetest comfort. While the tear hung on her eye-lid, joy flowed through her heart, for she knew, she felt, that Jesus was hers, and would not let her be tried above her strength. She exercised faith in him, and was filled with joy and peace in believing. Few had sweeter comforts, or stronger consolation, than my poor tried mother had, and all flowed from Jesus.
Jesus was my mother's friend, and he answered her in the day of her trouble. O how many prayers she poured into his ear, how many petitions she presented at his throne! How many answers to prayer she received, and how she loved to tell of . . .
his delivering mercy,
his comforting presence, and
his supporting grace.
And there are prayers to be answered yet. Prayers for her poor, thoughtless, and foolish child. Can the prayers of such a mother remain unanswered? Surely not! Perhaps my present sadness, my bitter disappointments, and my wounded heart — may be an answer to my mother's prayers.
"Jesus was my mother's friend, and at length, he took her to be with him. He loved her, he visited her, he blessed her below — and at length he called her up to dwell with him in Heaven. Can I ever forget her dying hour? Can I ever forget the faith she exercised, the joy she felt, the testimony she bore! Never! And yet I have forgotten them. Yes, too long have I forgotten a mother's tears, a mother's prayers, and a mother's exhortations. How sweetly she spoke of Jesus. How tenderly she entreated me to come to Jesus. How touchingly she described the blessedness of being one with Jesus. O my mother's friend, my mother's Savior — be the friend, the Savior, of her ungrateful, sinful child!"
Thus the daughter felt, thus the daughter soliloquised, and thus the daughter prayed. Nor did she pray in vain, for the time came, when she could not only say, "My mother's friend was Jesus," but could add, "Jesus is my friend too!"
Reader, had you a praying mother? Was Jesus your mother's friend? If so, let me ask you: Is he your friend? Have you attended to your mother's counsels? Have you experienced an answer to a mother's prayers? O the privilege of having such a mother! But how much greater is the privilege to have Jesus for our own! And this privilege we may enjoy. Jesus is ready to receive us. He waits and calls us to him. He seems to say, "I was your mother's friend, and I am willing to be your friend, too. I supported her under all her afflictions, I comforted her in all her trials, I answered her prayers in the day of trouble, and then I took her to myself. I am prepared to do just the same for you.
The arms that supported your mother — shall support you.
The love that comforted your mother — shall comfort you.
The ear that listened to your mother — shall listen to you.
In the Heaven, where your mother enjoys perfect happiness, there is room for you. Only believe my Word. Only trust in my perfect sacrifice. Only be reconciled to my Father. Only obey my voice. Only take me to be your Savior — and all shall be well, and well forever!"
Reader, what do you say? You are the person addressed, let your name, or character, or situation be what it may. To you is the message of this salvation sent. To you is this gracious offer made. By your mother's love, by your mother's tears, by your mother's joys — I beseech you close in with Christ. For your mother's sake, for your own sake, for God's sake — accept of Christ and be happy!