Beloved in the Lord
This devotional is special because of the wicked, cruel, inhumane and very despicable deeds going on in the world, particularly in Northern Nigeria where mothers (i.e. parents) have had their daughters ripped out of their souls. To these weeping mothers we dedicate this devotion and offer our prayers.
The Bible talks about mothers, all kinds of mothers: married mothers; unwed mothers; abandoned mothers; widowed mothers; separated mothers and even surrogate mothers. However, in the case of single mothers, the Bible does not directly address this category of mothers though it shows God’s love.
Let us talk about Hagar. The book of Genesis 21 describes the story of Hagar, a servant in Abraham’s household. The Hebrew translation of the name Hagar means “flight.” Hagar was the first single mother in the Bible, the first woman “put away” or abandoned by her man. The biblical account says that she was a single mother who, because of her arrogance, derision and attempts at humiliating her mistress, suffered vengeance and was ultimately banished into the desert with some water and some food to last her and her son some days.
Finally, the food and water were gone. With no other options, she laid her starving child under a bush, collapsed at a distance to avoid seeing him die and prepared herself for death. Then both mum and child started to cry. No water to drink and no well to draw from, death seemed imminent for both of them until God intervened. Let me provide a summary of the story: Abraham and Sarah have been promised a child that will come from the very loins of Abraham. However, they were impatient and didn’t want to wait for God’s timing. Rather, they acted upon a plan hatched by Sarah. This plan consists of using Sarah’s slave, Hagar, sexually to bring about the birth of Abraham’s son. Today, we call that surrogate motherhood, a form of test-tube baby.
Do you identify with Hagar? Do you taste her bitterness when you think about the rough times you are going through? When Hagar realized that God loved and cared for her, she gave God a new name: “The God who sees me.” She represents the unseen in our world: the poor, the abandoned; the divorced; the outcast; the discarded; the foreign; the hungry; the rejected.
Maybe you want to believe that God loves you, but then you can’t understand why a loving God would allow you to suffer pain and affliction. If He cared for you, why hasn’t He done something, anything about it? The answer is, yes, He cares. You see, from heaven God heard Hagar’s son crying and called out to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand” Gen 21:17.
Then there are those who are married. I’m thinking of Mary and Elizabeth. I think we will all agree that the most revered mother in all history is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Elizabeth, her cousin was also very godly who in her old age gave birth to John the Baptist. While both were nearing motherhood, Mary visited Elizabeth for a period of about three months. They were both favoured by God and we read about them joyfully planning for the birth of their babies; after all, they were both pregnant around the same time and their sons were going to be cousins and also around the same age. Both ladies had the same strong belief in God. While we don’t hear anymore of Elizabeth in the Bible, we know that Mary was supportive of her Son all the way in His life, from manger till His death on the cruel cross of Calvary. Easter resulted out of it.
We know that mothers have this wonderful ability that no matter what children do, no matter what they go through, they are supportive of their children.
There are many such examples of God’s gentle and caring interaction with women, mothers, widows and their children. You see, God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11) so He cares for all, regardless of status. From these very few examples that I have provided, we see an application of God’s love, gentleness, etc., be it towards a single, married, abandoned, widowed or divorced woman. And yes, His heart goes out to the rebellious mothers too.
I look at our world today and I can say that there are a myriad of reasons why an increasing number of women find they are becoming or are the head of a one-parent home. We know that for some it is due to the pain of divorce, the grievous death of a husband or an unwanted pregnancy outside of wedlock. Others are still married but separated from their spouses. Some are in their marriage but lonely. Whatever the reason, I come to tell you that one thing is very clear and certain: God’s faithfulness to single mothers is evident in His Word and can be witnessed today in the lives of any mother and her children if that mother is willing to be submissive to God today.
Today, God is still reaching out married mothers and to single mothers as well because He doesn’t change. His offering to be a never-ending source of love, care, strength, protection and provision as mothers face the never-ending challenge of raising God-fearing world-changers for Him still stands. In like manner, He will be, and is with the mothers of Northern Nigeria. Let us pray that the Word of God reaches the hearts of such people, near and far.
Proposed prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for our mothers and the examples of motherhood that we see in the Bible. Mothers are extremely special even though many do not know what it is to be good mothers and therefore struggle to be real true mothers. With Your intervention, we know that they can be the mothers that You have designed them to be. We also pray for the mothers of Northern Nigeria and other mothers who are searching for missing children. In Your own way please let them taste of Your compassion and let them feel and acknowledge Your presence. Thank You for hearing our prayer, in Jesus Name. Amen.
May the Lord bless you and remember to pray for your mum or the lady in your life: wife, mum, grandma, daughter, etc and ask for God’s protection for, and over them. A blessed and happy Mother’s Day, this Sunday.