For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
you shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants,
and he shall show his indignation against his enemies. Isaiah 65:12-14
I love all of the imagery that God wove through His Word, describing aspects of His character and of the roles that He plays in relationship to His people. He is a Creator. He is a Father. He is a Bridegroom, a Lover. And, He is also a Mother.
As a mother, I often feel overwhelmed with everything that ‘should’ be done every day. I often feel ignored by my kids who are stellar at selective listening. I often feel unappreciated for the sacrifices that I make for this growing group of kids that were entrusted to me to raise well, raise to adulthood. There are moments throughout each day that I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out until I fall asleep…I need to be comforted and encouraged by someone who understands, by anyone, by God.
And then I read a passage, like this one, reminding me of the importance of my role as ‘mother’ and the comfort that brings to my children. And, it reminds me that just as God is my Father, God is my Mother.
As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…you shall nurse at My breast…
The very first thing that I was able to do for my children after they were born was provide nourishment for them through nursing. I was able to feed them, sustain them. They learned very quickly that I was going to care for them, meet their needs. I can be sure that God will provide for my needs – not just in the area of food, but in every aspect of my life. He is Jehovah Jireh.
As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…you shall be carried on My hip…
When my children were infants, I carried them everywhere – in my arms, in one of my various wraps and slings, and in their car carriers – and even still today, at ages two and nearly four, they still want to be carried all of the time (which unfortunately I can’t do as much as I would like at the moment due to my large, pregnant belly filled with baby #3). Even when they just sit in my lap, it helps them feel safe and secure. When I am feeling vulnerable, I am learning to look to God to be carried through difficult moments. I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…you shall be bounced on My knees…
As my children grow, they seek connection with me, a chance to feel my joy over them, a chance to experience my love for them. One of the many ways we connect is when they sit with me, whether on my knees to bounce or on my crossed leg to play ‘ride the pony’. As we spend those moments connecting, it strengthens our bond. I believe that God wants the same kind of connection with me, and though it doesn’t manifest in quite the same way, the principle of comforting joy holds true. I can relax in Him, when I know without doubt that He loves me, I am comforted by His expressions of care and of fun – my favorites are those little gifts I find that seem to be just for me, like a double rainbow when I am feeling lonely, or a $20 bill in my pocket when I needed a little extra cash, or a heart in the clouds or a hawk soaring in the sky.
As a mother comforts, I will comfort you…
I think of the many ways that I am able to comfort my girls and feel blessed that, for at least a little while, I can be the person that they run to for comfort, for relief, for security, for encouragement and a confidence boost, for a sense of contentment and well-being. I kiss boo-boos and offer band-aids, give tickles, snuggles, and hugs, wipe tears, wrap them up in warm, cozy blankets and hold them until my arms fall asleep, and the list goes on and on. But, as much as I love being a place of solace, my goal is to teach them to trust God, to go to Him for sanctuary. I want them to believe that He is the same safe haven, an even better refuge than I could ever be, especially as they grow up into adulthood. He is the Comforter. He is Mother.
Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.