If I had known that the little baby--whose sleeplessness often tested my patience--would grow up to pray for my rest, I would have maintained more joy on those weary nights. But I didn’t know; and there’s been many other moments of impatience and failure as a mom in my daughter’s young life. But love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
As I read the story of Christ’s birth, I wonder: what “looks” did Mary endure when “found” to be with child in Matthew 1:18? Did her cheeks burn under the gaze of Nazareth? Did she suffer shame at the eyes of a doubting Joseph (Matthew 1:19)?
It’s amazing to consider that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” and under the ignominy of a curious pregnancy (Galatians 4:4).
For nine months, Zechariah must employ the use of a writing tablet for communication (Luke 1:63). He must have scribbled these amazing words for Elizabeth’s reading for in Luke 1:59-60, she insists on the name John for her son. Here, I wonder if Elizabeth longed for her husband’s voice in these months. Her first and second trimesters are spent in hiding (Luke 1:24). These must have been quiet months for the expectant mother. A picture, perhaps, of Israel’s own 400 years of waiting in silence for the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Most parents dream great dreams for their children. It’s only natural I suppose. But what if your child comes through miraculous means? What if his birth is personally announced by God? What if that child is dedicated to the LORD from the womb and is declared a future savior of your people? What hopes does a mother cherish then? I don’t refer here to the Lord Jesus but to Samson, Israel’s Judge.
I wonder as I read: how early did Jochebed rise to prepare her basket? Were her eyes blurry with tears as she worked? Did her lips quiver in whispered prayers as she nursed her child for what may have been the last time? Did her heart pace within her as she set her son in the river? A daubed basket in the Nile was more merciful than the fatal hands of Pharaoh so Jochebed released it, trusting her baby to the water and ultimately to God. In all, she simply didn't want her child to die. It was just that simple.
I have decided to choose my kids over Facebook. In reality the choice isn't just about Facebook but the many trivial distractions that take my focus away from my children. Picture the scene for a moment – it might be familiar to you – I’m sitting in the playroom of our home, my soon-to-be three-year-old is playing with her kitchen set and my seven-month-old is chewing on some toy nearby. I’m physically present with them but my attention is given to the 12 inch computer screen in front of me.
My expression of love for my daughter – while there might be some parallel – is minuscule when compared with God’s love for His children. The scale is simply not the same. As much as I love my daughter, I fail, I tire, and I even give up. But God is God! He never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:4) nor lacks for anything. He is perfect in His power and perfect in His love for and commitment to His own. Psalm 103:11 states: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”
The time was 10:00 PM on the night of July 9, 2011 and after 34 hours of labor, I was finally ready to push my first child into the world. The many hours leading up to this moment had become a congealed memory of pain mixed with excitement, pacing, scripture reading, singing, praying, worship and more pain!