James is 40 years old; a family man; a man who believes in God. For the last twenty years, he returns to his hometown to spend time with his dear mother. During that time, he makes it a priority to be the handy man around her home; this gives him time to reflect as he works with his hands.
As always, on his return trip, he is greeted by his wife, Laura, of 15 years. “Was the trip all you wanted it to be?” she asked. James hugs her and says, “That and more. Mom sends her love to all. And of course, she sent her famous apple dumpling.”
“We have been waiting for that dumpling more than for you,” Laura laughed. The children will be back shortly, so I had better set up now so we can dive in.”
“Sounds great. In the meantime, I’ll unpack and get ready to join you guys when they get here.”
James retreated to the master bedroom and carefully placed his suitcase on the bed. As he opened it, he knew that something special was awaiting him. There it was, carefully laid on top of all the clothes – another letter from Mom.
For the last twenty-two years, it was the one thing that was consistent in his life. Ever since James left home at the age of 18, a letter from Mom had always been placed in his suitcase. As he picked up the letter, he recalled the first time he found letter number #1 and letter #22 was just as precious as that first one. How is it that each letter was different, similar in substance, yet so timely for his life. Somehow, Mom had managed to make it seem that way. In fact, he had nicknamed her, His Proverbial Mom, for those timely words.
James’ eyes landed on the first words as he took a comfortable seat on the bed. He drew an image of himself as a young son, leaving home, for the first time – a time he was about to enter into the world on his own. He was a child who had been nurtured by strong parents and now it was time for him to leave as a young adult. He remembered the day he left. Most memorable, was that of his Mom waving good-bye. Dad had gone back into the house for it was even harder for him. He caught a glimpse of his Mom in the rearview mirror as she waved with one hand and wiped tears from her eyes with the other. He made himself a promise that he would do good and make her especially proud of him. One day, he thought, I will be able to repay them for all they had done for him; I will be a blessing. Dad passed away three years ago; so the times spent with Proverbial Mom was even more precious and so was letter #22 – to be read with as much anticipation just as the 21 letters before.
In times like these, hear instruction and be wise, and do not object it. Blessed is the man who listens to me (says the Lord), watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors (Proverbs 8:33-34).
Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding but a rod is for the back of him who refuses and lacks understanding. My son, I continue in prayer for wisdom and understanding from God for you.
He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. The man who walks with integrity walks securely. The Lord will allow the righteous soul to flourish but he casts away the desires of the wicked and the heart of fools is made known.
I continue to pray that God protects you and give you a discerning spirit to be aware of the wicked man who walks with a perverse mouth. He winks with his eyes; he shuffles his feet; he points with his fingers; perversity is in his heart; he devises evil continually, he sows discord (Proverbs 6:10-14). The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3). The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant. Do not tire of doing good. The righteous will NEVER be removed; the wicked will not inhabit the earth. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).
Mind your home. The Lord says who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but the man who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous man studies how to answer; this is not so for the man who desires and puts forth evil. Call upon God continually for the Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. The Lord is far from the wicked. It says so in Proverbs 15:29.
Remember! Always teach your children the way of the Lord. Be swift to teach that there are seven things that the Lord does not like:
A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19).
As the Lord strengthens you, strengthen your brethren.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children; but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous (Proverbs 13:22). I continue in prayer for your hands to produce good summer fruit for he who has a slack hand becomes poor; but the hand of the diligent makes rich. May you gather in summer knowing that the seasons of time changes; I speak harvest times in your life of abundance, and saving for bitter, lean winters. The labor of the righteous leads to life.
Remember that one who oppresses the poor upsets the Lord, our Creator, but the one who honors God has mercy on the needy. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established (Proverbs 16:3).
Finally, my son, better is a little with righteous than vast revenues without justice. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with that man. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
I love you, my son, and God loves us more.
Your Proverbial Mom