Summary: God takes care of us much like a mother takes care of her children.
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A MOTHER’S LOVE
Text: Isaiah 66:13
"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 Mark Merrill’s "The Power of a Mother". 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.
MOTHERS ARE COMPASSIONATE
When we want to show compassion toward someone, we want to help in the midst of his or her misfortune. Mothers are usually good at this quality. They know how to respond when a child is in need of comforting. I remember when I was a child, I was helping my mother do the dishes. As I went to put one up, I dropped it and broke it. I felt badly about it. Yet, my mother consoled me. The grace of God is a lot like that.
They say that a woman’s work is never done. That thought, where mothers are concerned, lends itself to the business of a mother’s duties in caring for her family. There is always something that needs to be done and yet time is short. In Matthew 14:13-14, Jesus went to seek solitude for a few moments. But, when the crowds heard about his presence they followed Him and He had compassion on them and healed their sick. He did not relate to them as a nuisance. Mothers are created to have that kind of patience. Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the ideal wife and mother. In fact, Proverbs 31:28 says that "Her children arise and call her blessed" (NIV).
Mothers are also good at offering hope. In showing compassion to her children, a mother can lessen the intensity of the misery and/or grief of her children. Therefore, where a child might not have any hope or little hope, an ideal mother has the capacity not only to console, but also to strengthen hope. Our Lord, Jesus also demonstrated how He gave and gives hope. Consider Matthew 9:37: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (NIV). When Jesus gave them the support and guidance that they needed, it gave them hope where it was lacking. A mother looks after her children and guides them much like a shepherd looks after his sheep.
MOTHERS ARE ENCOURAGING
Children often receive a confidence boost from their mothers when they are down. Wherever a child may have a sense of low self- esteem, a mother build that child’s confidence through her words of encouragement. Enrico Caruso is but one example. As a child his mother encouraged his talent for singing when one of his teachers said that his singing sounded like the shutters in the wind. She worked hard to encourage him not with just her words, but also with her actions as she worked hard to pay for his lessons. She even went barefoot in order to be able to pay for his music lessons. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest opera singers as an adult. There is no question that his mother had a hand in his success. (Dale Carnegie. How To Win Friends And Influence People. Revised Edition. New York: Pocket Books, 1981, p. 228).