A mother's day
Motherhood. The desire of many. The perceived benchmark of success as woman. For many women, motherhood is a burden – a burden to the women who do not feel called to pro-create and a burden to a wife desperate to conceive. And to many the celebration of Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of such bias. For some, Mother’s Day is also a sad reminder of a mother’s passing. For others, it is the painful reminder of the loss of a child, unborn or young child or adult.
When Mother’s Day came up, a silent thought prompted me to Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Many times her miraculous birth has been preached upon. I have heard said faithful prayer can bring such things abound. It is true, but only in part, because it can leave us works based. If I pray hard enough, if I, if I… Have you ever felt like this? No matter how hard you try, nothing seems to help? The text actually added that God closed her womb, but that is a whole different conversation. I am convinced Hanna did everything in her power to conceive. She read the Jerusalem weekly top tips, she tried every prayer and had the same result year after year – no baby…
“She went away and was no longer downcast.”
The text tells us that Hannah went in to the temple and left no longer downcast. What happened? Was it because she made a deal with God? Did she and the Lord trade in souls?
A religiously burdened woman entered the temple and an eternally secured, grace filled, loved woman came out. She was no longer burdened by the measure of religious and cultural success that was associated by the birth of children. Her self worth, her value and her purpose when she emerged from that prayer was secured in the Father’s love through Christ Jesus (even though she did not know that then, she benefitted from his eternal sacrifice centuries later).
Hannah’s peace was no longer to be settled in motherhood. Her goal of success was not determined by her child/ren as was dictated by her culture. Her peace was in the peace of God’s divine appointment. Whether it was as a mother, daughter, or wife.
The Goal, through motherhood or barren hood, through marriage or celibacy is to marvel and rejoice in our identity in Jesus Christ. It does not trivialise pain or the longing, but it does give an eternal perspective. It connects dots divinely! No longer is it about the fractions, but the whole. It retains purpose regardless of circumstance.
Our value was settled on the cross.
She entered bitter and left sweet.