Saturday, June 21, 2008

Musings on Mothers and Isaiah 43:1-3a -- Part I

Isaiah 43:1-3 is one of the most beloved promises that God made to Israel and one that means a lot to those who believe in Jesus name. It reads
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel. Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you, For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
This verse is not specifically about motherhood. It does, however, have a lot to say to those of us who bear (or adopt) and rear children.

Next to your relationship to your God and your relationship to your husband and helping someone else become a disciple of Jesus, there are few experiences as profound in life as being a mom. It's a joy and a delight -- one of the most fulfilling gifts from the Lord. Yet, it's also an awesome responsibility.

God understands that motherhood is both wonderful and terrifying. From the moment that we find out we are pregnant or adopting to the instant that we first hold that new precious life in our arms and know God has entrusted that little soul and body to our keeping to toddler-hood to teenage years to seeing our children become adults, we go through a gamut of emotions.

I think about Mary. First, an angel appeared to her! How marvelous that must have been. The angel brought astonishing and wondrous news: Mary was to bear the Messiah -- the promised Son of God who would redeem us all (and her) from sin. How incredible! Then came the moment when some people looked at her and did not believe that she was innocently pregnant out of wedlock. Even her own fiance thought about putting her away quietly, until an angel explained the matter to him. Then, Simeon and Anna pronounced wonderful blessings for her son, yet also told her that a sword would pierce her own soul. She raised her precious boy, and the scriptures show that sometimes she grasped the significance of Jesus (John 2:4-6) and, sometimes, she didn't quite understand his mission. (Mark 3:20-21, Mark 3:31-35) . She watched her son die of crucifixion, and perhaps it was then that the sword pierced her soul. Then, how elated she must have been to see him risen!

To a lesser extent, we too have moments of sheer joy and wonder as we raise our children, as well as moments of trial. Look what God says to us as we live through the experiences of motherhood. He describes his love for his children: He formed them; He redeemed them; he called them by name. He says, "You are Mine!"

God doesn't say that his people are never going to face problems. In fact, they will pass through waters and fire. However, he promises to walk with them through the trials. He promises the faithful that the trials will perfect and not destroy their faith. (James 1:1-4).

If our children see us hold on to this and many other promises in the Bible during the joyful times and during the trying times, it will mold their faith, as well. So, for the next few posts, I'll be meditating on this verse from the point of view of a mother. Come and join me as we explore God's great love and how His love for us can overflow into our love for our children.


Next time: He calls us by name!

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