On Mothers’ day May 9, 2010 I wrote a devotional that God put on my heart to share with you today. Since then, I have re-read this many times and shared it with many mothers. It has brought such joy and comfort. I pray it will minister to your heart today also.
Before you continue, I encourage you to read the story about Abraham and Sarah, Hagar (Sarah’s Egyptian servant), Ishmael (the son of Abraham and Hagar) and Isaac (the son of Abraham and Sarah) in Genesis 16:1-15; 18:1-15; 21:1-7.
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation. Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt. Gen 21:14-21
The mother’s heart was so broken that she distanced herself from her only child because she was afraid that he would die. The boy must have been very weak as his mother “put” him under a bush, and he made no attempt to follow her. The mother began to cry. Her wails were probably heard by her son “nearby” because he remained under the bush and cried as well.
God saw this mother and son confronting the frightening prospect of death. Then we see how God poured out His loving kindness and refreshed and restored both mother and child. He sent an angel who told Hagar not to be afraid, that God has heard her son’s cries. He gave her direction of what to do and in the place of an absent father God promised to abide with the boy as he grew.
If we reflect on the encounter between God and Hagar, we see the compassion, sympathy (feelings of sorrow for someone else’s misfortune) and the empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) of God. He could relate with her pain and need and responded to Hagar as a loving God and as a divine parent with the power to intervene. He did not stand by passively.
This was the response of a Father who knew one day He also would face the intense pain of separation, the torment of watching His only Son suffer and the agony of knowing He had to turn His back on His child as He died. This was the Father who proclaimed, “This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Mt 3:17
He was also a Father about whom Jesus, His Son, would say, “You loved Me before the creation of the world” (Jn 17:24) and later cry “Abba Father, please take this cup of suffering away from me.” (Mk 14:36) and then later cry out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46) We can only imagine the agony that God, the Father, and Jesus, the Son went through. God knows the intense pain of intense love.
If you are a parent, you have already experienced fear, vulnerability, and pain. The Father has not missed one second of your parenthood! If you have a child who is rejected by other people, God knows how you feel. If you have a child who has been betrayed by other people, He knows how you feel. If you have a child who has begged you to “fix” something you could not fix, He knows how you feel. If you have buried a child, He knows how you feel. He has been there too, however, there is one big difference, He could have changed every bit of it, but He did not for you and me!
If you are a hurting parent right now, allow God to open your eyes as He did Hagar’s. Let Him refresh you at the well of Living Water. You who are richly loved, do not give up! God sees you and your children and knows what you are going through and will help you through.
As a mother of a beautiful daughter who is now an adult, I have learned over the years to rejoice and thank God every day for the gift, privilege, and responsibility of being a mother. I have learned to give her to the Lord everyday and to pray for her every day. As I pray, I praise God for all the ways He answers my prayers. God has put many things on my heart about His plans and purposes for her and I declare these things out in faith believing that they will be fulfilled. I love being a mom. God is there through all the joys and the sorrows, the laughter, and the tears. No matter what happens I know that God sees me and my daughter and will help me to be the godly mother He has called me to be. He is at work in her heart and in her life which brings me great peace and comfort and helps me to not be anxious and worry and just enjoy being a mom!
HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” Rev 2:7
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