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A young, awkward boy grew up in southern California, plagued by a learning disability that in later years would be called dyslexia. But with his mother’s encouragement and admonishment, he became a strong and capable leader. Years later he was commanding thousands of your Americans in war. When General George S. Patton (old “Blood and Guts”) found himself in North Africa grappling with the German Army, his thoughts on the battlefield were often of his mother. It was his mother, he often told colleagues, who ingrained in him the leadership qualities that he was to become famous for. His only regret was that he never expressed sufficient appreciation to her. “Darling Mama,” he began in a letter he wrote after her death, in words that pained him, “You are still very near. I never showed you in life the love I really felt nor my admiration for your courage.” (Quoted from http://www.familyfirst.net/pressroom/historicalmoms.htm). In the words of Paul Harvey, "… the ally, the constant companion who read to him what he could not read … who first taught our nation’s greatest cavalryman how to ride. … The friend of his youth who recognized the first beginnings of greatness in a small boy---and prepared him for a world of men---was a woman. Mrs. George Patton, Senior. His mother." (Paul Harvey. The Rest Of The Story. New York: Bantam Books, 1997, p. 47). When Patton speaks of his mother’s courage, it was as if he were expressing his gratitude beyond what he felt that any words could ever have conveyed. There was no doubt that Patton found comfort and motivation in his mother’s courage. She nurtured him in body, mind and spirit in his youth. God’s comforting nurture is a lot like that.

Isaiah 66:13 parallels the kind of help that God gives to the consolation and comfort that a mother gives to her children: "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem" (RSV). God takes care of us much like a mother takes care of her children. God provides for us beyond what we are able to fully comprehend! In the New Testament we have a wonderful picture that Jesus would tend to people much like a mother hen would tend to her young (Luke 13:34). Comfort involves compassion, encouragement and sympathy.

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