The Bible does not have many stories about mothers. That is a little disappointing to me. Out of these few stories there are three that have had special meaning for me.
1. Jochebed the mother of Moses. Her story is in Exodus 2. She was willing to trust God that He would keep her son alive. The pressure of the day was to kill baby boys, but she believed that this was not God’s way. The Lord rewarded her faith by preserving her sons’s life. He also blessed her with the privilege of caring for her infant son even thought Pharaoh’s daughter claimed the child as her son. During this short period of time, which might have been only a few years, she taught her son about God and His plan for the Hebrew people.
This is why I admire her. She was able in this short amount of time to instill in Moses a knowledge of God that would enable him to love. In spite of being well-taught in Egyptian knowledge, Moses had the godly foundation to be a wise, godly leader. I have no knowledge of the length of time I have with my children. What have I spent my time teaching them?
2. Hannah the mother of Samuel. Hannah’s story is in I Samuel 1:1-2:11. Hannah understood that the ability to have children comes from God. She was willing to ask Him for a child. She also recognized the greatness of the blessing that children are. Knowing this she dedicated her yet to be conceived child to God. The marvel is that she actually gave her son to God’s service. Her faith in God was genuine. She could trust that God would preserve her son and use him. God did preserve Samuel who served God in the midst of great corruption. God used Samuel as the judge to give godly counsel to two kings.
Having adult children leave home is one thing, but to let a small child go required a great faith. Serving the Lord is full of trials that can be very intense. Am I willing to see my children face them as they work for God? I also see in Hannah a great joy in having a child who is in the Lord’s service. Really, what could be more wonderful than to see the Lord use my child?
3. Mary the mother of Jesus. To read Mary’s story you would have to read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. She was a virgin who was asked to give birth to Jesus the Son of God. When I read Luke 1 recently, I was struck by the quickness of her acceptance of this responsibility. She couldn’t have had a full idea of all this motherhood would entail, but she did have some understanding of what she would experience. She was able to answer bravely and reverently, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” Mary also “treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51b) I think as she watched this special son grow she learned more about God which gave her much to treasure.
I will never be asked to do anything as difficult as Mary was asked to do. Yet how quickly do I say “yes”? What do I treasure about my children? Their first word? Their report cards? Or do I treasure how the Lord is working in and through each of us, my children and me?