Motherhood: A Drink Offering

Drink Offering

I often refer to this season as The Fire That Is Motherhood. You’ve felt the heat, haven’t you? Been singed a bit by the flames? Had a few selfish ways burned to dust?

This Jesus we’re following along a Lenten path can identify with flames and scourges and pain infinitely greater. He endured the cross so He could be our final burnt offering, the sacrifice that lasts for eternity, covering all our cold, hard sin. He also endured so He could relate to us and draw near to encourage us any time we grow weary in the refining process. {Mind. Blown.} It seems there are times He wants to teach us to come toward the flames, to keep our fires burning, so that we may share in His suffering and glory, and so that our children’s lives may burn brightly with Truth and Love.

When you stand by the fire, do you wonder like me if all the endless efforts are wasted? I pick up toys and ten minutes later they’ve miraculously escaped their bins. I ask for kind words and peace reigns for all of three minutes. Kindling thrown into the fire, burning up in a moment – yet still feeding the flames. I wash the same clothes over and over, each toss into the washer a twig-tossing onto the pile of service. Hard-earned money pays for provisions like trees fall to an axe. Forgiveness over bitter words and actions dry out the wood. Prayers of protection and blessing make for slow-burning logs; teachable moments of forgiveness and truth-telling, poking and stoking for air.

It seems God wants us to know that all that fuel, from the little kindlings to the larger beams, are not wasted, mama-friends. They may turn to ash in a moment, but they are not in vain. They are keeping the fire burning bright, bringing life to our children as we are purified and offered over the flames. When all the little things are unto Him, a sacrificial service of faith, not one is wasted.

And if you are like me, there are times the fire nearly dies out, when a life of sacrifice just wants to run from the heat. But this is not the end – it is the very place where our weakness, our lack of love, can find rich beauty. It’s in these places that motherhood is training us for life, so that our whole lives can be laid down for Love no matter what the cost.

In Old Testament times, when God’s chosen brought their livestock to be slain in payment of sin as the Law required, the fires would consume the sacrifice. And then, sometimes, as the embers smouldered, a drink offering would be made. The drink offering was wine. About two bottles worth of undiluted, costly libation would be poured out over the sacrifice, creating billows of rich, fragrant smoke – a strong, soothing aroma to the Lord.

Sacrifice on top of sacrifice. Isn’t that a stunning picture? After the sins had been remitted, there was another opportunity to give at great cost: to give thanks. And that thanks would rise up into nostrils human and divine and make the burnt offering smell beautiful, smell like stunning gratitude. I imagine that aroma was uniquely memorable.

Jesus made Himself our spotless Lamb, so we don’t need to sacrifice in order to be forgiven. But He left it open for us to share in His suffering, as Paul described the Philippians doing:

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. Philippians 2:17

Paul saw their sacrificial service and came along to give on top of it. He saw his whole life could be a costly, undiluted drink offering poured out in thanks over the suffering of the saints. What a privilege to get to share that fire a bit and make it smell good, so that anyone near could turn and wonder where the aroma originated. An aroma filling the air with thanks, pointing to lives laid down. To a Life laid down.

What a stunning way to describe a life!

Poured out like a drink offering.

We can do this. Pour ourselves out over our families and other moms, cheering each other on, rejoicing in the sacrifice. Not only that: when we’re all burned up, we have a Helper-Encourager pouring out over our embers:

…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

Our biggest fan and free gift draws near to the embers and pours Himself out as a drink offering over the sacrifice and service of our faith. The ashes hiss and smoke and turn heads, and the rich, sweet fragrance billows, filling the air and nostrils both human and divine with the soothing incense of love.

Yes, the Holy Spirit pours out wine over our dwindling fire to make it beautiful.

Mamas, let’s not grow weary in fanning flames or chopping wood or pouring out or sniffing for smoke…it follows beauty, you know…

Is your fire dwindling? How can you allow your drink offering to be poured out in beautiful thanksgiving?

Rachel Sig

{Photo Credit}

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Comments

  1. 1

    Heather Jeffers says

    Rachel, I just have to tell you that this beautiful writing has been used by God in my life so much. I have shared it with everyone I know. What a gift you have given those who have read this! Thank you.

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