Monday, May 9, 2016

The Mother Heart of God

Yesterday we celebrated Mother’s Day, which brings a full range of emotions for all. Some of you were delighted to honor your mom and remember all the love and wonder she brought or brings to your life. Others of you struggled to say anything good about your mom, who was not there for you. She may have even brought pain and suffering into your life. 
Many of you moms were delighted to be honored and pampered, and received cards, gifts, and love galore. Others of you were disappointed, forgotten or ignored, or even railed at. Some of you have empty arms that ached to have children but did not, or had a child who left this world too early. Perhaps Mother’s Day is your hardest day of the year.

I rejoice with those of you who celebrated with a full heart yesterday. I grieve with those of you who are still raw from the pain. For all of us, no matter where we fall in the spectrum, there is good news. 

God is both our perfect Father and Mother. Created in His image, we are male and female—two complimentary genders to make up the perfect and complex character of God. I have no desire to change the male pronouns for God throughout the Bible. But I would like to point out how perfectly He fills our need for the nurturing, gentle hand moms can bring, as well as the provider, protector, and strength of dads.

Before anyone, including our own mothers, knew what we looked like or what our personality would be, God delighted over us in the womb. He thought about us like an excited first time mom thinks constantly about the baby growing inside her. He saw each movement, watched our growth; He designed every cell and dimple and quirky personality. He loved us!

 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. (Psa. 139:15-18)

God is like a playful mom—smiling, teasing, singing, wiping away the tears and bumps life so readily hands out.

You will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem. (Isa. 66:12-13)

The Mother-Heart of God wants a relationship with us like the bond a toddler has with her mommy. Past the demanding need for nursing, yet attached and comforted by her mother’s warmth and presence. Leaning in to her embrace. 

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. (Psalm 131:2)
photo by Selaphotography

photo by Selaphotography

When we pull away from God, it tears at His heart, just as surely as a mother grieves when her children refuse to let her protect them from harm. Jesus expressed the grief He feels when His children turn away from the love and forgiveness He offers.

How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34)

Even worse, is the defiant child who turns his back on Mom—running away, calling her names, blaming her for the trouble he has brought on himself. God feels the same ache when His children rebel and leave Him behind.

“I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—a people who continually provoke me to my very face.” (Isa. 65:2-3)

And yet, like so many mothers we know who remain constant and tenacious in hope for their child’s return, so is God in His love for us. He cannot forget us—He bears the mark of His love on His hands.

 “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isa. 49:14-16)

To all you mothers and all you children, may God enfold you in His loving embrace today.

#mothersday #areyoumymother #hatemothersday #abandoned #emptyarms

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