12 For this is what the Lord says:
“I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.
13 As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
14 When you see this, your heart will rejoice
and you will flourish like grass;
the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants,
but his fury will be shown to his foes.
“Deeper Than a Mother’s Love”
A poem reads, “A Mother’s Love is something that no one can explain. It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain. It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may, For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.”
As great as that sounds, this elevation of moms is not agreed on by everyone. Listen to these different opinions of moms one may have throughout the years.
- At 4 years of age: My mommy can do anything!
- At 8 years of age: My mom knows a whole lot!
- At 12 years of age: My mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
- At 14 years of age: Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that either.
- At 16 years of age: Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
- At 18 years of age: That old woman? She’s way out of date!
- At 25 years of age: Well, she might know a little bit about it.
- At 35 years of age: Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.
- At 45 years of age: I wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
- At 65 years of age: I wish I could talk it over with Mom.
Mother’s Day is that one day of the year where we take our moms and elevate them up on to this humble pedestal. We celebrate that they are our mom and we shower them with praises and phrases of love and gratitude. Even in those teenage years when we think we know it all, we still try to find a card for mom which tells her that even though we don’t say it often enough, we do love you and we are proud to have you as our mom.
There is no doubt that a mother’s love runs deep. Moms will do pretty much anything for their children. Moms would even be willing to lay down their life for their child like a young mother did many years ago. This young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales. She was carrying her tiny baby in her arms when she was suddenly overtaken by a blinding blizzard. Unfortunately, this young mother never reached her destination. When the blizzard had subsided her body was found by searchers beneath a mound of snow. What they discovered was that before her death, she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it around her baby. When they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, they found that he was alive and well. This young mother had mounded her body over his and given her life for her child, proving the depths of her motherly love. Years later that child, whose name was David Lloyd George, grown to manhood, became prime minister of Great Britain, and, without doubt, one of England’s greatest statesman in the early 1900’s.
Sadly, though, not all moms, not all fathers are like this though. Peppered throughout the Bible are passages where God is commanding and reminding and re-commanding parents “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech” (Lev. 18:21a). If you are wondering who Molech is, he is a Canaanite god who resided in the underworld. He required child sacrifices as the price for the fertility of a family and the prosperity of its land[i]. You want a great family? You want prosperous land? Then sacrifice, or simply toss your newborn baby into the belly of this bronze statute name Molech which had been heated up with fire. As absurd as this sounds, we would think that followers of the one true God wouldn’t do this, but later in the Psalms it says that “They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood” (Psalm 106:37-38). Not very mother like or father like if you ask me.
Unfortunately, not all mothers are the best, not all moms are ever-loving, sweet, kind, always there for you or express an unconditional kind of love. Hopefully most moms are these things, but sadly for many others, the Hallmark sentiments used to describe mom can’t be any farther from the truth. Even the moms we call good, are not really good all time. Actually, if you get down to the heart of moms, if you get down to the heart of each individual person, if you get down to the heart of you and me … no one is good. No one! Paul in Romans 3 pretty plainly says that, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understand, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (3:10-12).
Now granted, this is not something any of us want to think about, especially on a day like today where mothers are supposed to be honored. But sadly, this is the truth of the world in which we live. Moms don’t always fit the descriptions found in Hallmark greeting cards. Moms can’t always be compared to and thought to be better than Mother Teresa. Sadly, the world has been functioning like this ever since that wonderful moment when Adam and Eve decided to not listen to God and sin entered into the picture.
Because of this sin, Isaiah can write in chapter 49, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born?” If we look at the world around us, the answer can very easily be … yes. But let’s finish this verse. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15). Notice that last part. “Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Who is the I? Who’s speaking? Who’s speaking? Right! God is the one who is speaking. As great as the greatest mom is, though she may forget, I, God will never forget you!
Isaiah says in our Old Testament lesson this morning that “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (66:13a). God promises, no matter what kind of mom you have, no matter what kind of father you have, no matter what it is that you are facing right now … God will comfort you! Someway, somehow, God will help bring you comfort. It may be through reconciling with your parents, it may be through someone who is been more of a mom or dad to you than your own. God may be bringing you comfort through family members or close personal friends. In the midst of whatever is going on … God is with you and He will not back down on the promises he makes.
Isaiah goes on to say that “When you see this, when you see this comfort, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like the grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants” (66:14). When I am stressed out, when I am bogged down and am internally suffering … there is nothing greater, nothing more relaxing, nothing more stress relieving than to receive comfort. Comfort from my mom, from my wife, my family, my friends, from you … it’s all great. But the comfort, that peace which comes from God which surpasses any sort of human understanding … that is just flat out awesome. This absolutely awesome comfort comes to you and me. It is available to you and me through a love which is far deeper than any mother’s love. It is available through the precious unending love of God, our Heavenly Father and is demonstrated through the life, death, and resurrection of the Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it remains with you through the precious gift of the Holy Spirit.
But this comfort from God, this love which is truly deeper than a mother’s love … even though it may not always feel like it, it is with you. It is with you and you will fully recognize it on that last day when Christ returns in all of his glory. For on that day when Jesus raises these sinful perishing bodies of ours from their graves, we will truly see the glory of God. We will truly see the beauty of God’s new creation. We will truly see and fully recognize the love of God when we see him face to face in perfect glorified bodies. At that moment, “When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass” (Is 66:14) and you will truly know and experience the true depth of your Heavenly Father’s amazing love. Amen.
The peace and love of God, which truly surpasses human understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord, now and forever. Amen