The Love of God Love of a mom. Mothers Day 08. 5'11'08
The Love of God . . . The love of a Mom!
May 11, 2008
At the end of a long day, a worn out mom was asked “If you had it to do all over again, would you have children?” Yes, she replied . . . but just not the same ones.”
Being a mom is tough! Sometimes you just have to look on the bright side. A young boy brought home his report card and it was filled with poor grades. His mom took a look at it and said “Young man, what do you have to say for yourself?” “well mom, at least you know I ain’t cheatin’!”
There is something about the love of a Mother that tells us about an even greater love – the love of God!
God uses the love of a Mother (something that we are all familiar with) to teach us about his love! (something we need to know more about!)
Moms reflect the love of God in a special way. There is something unique about the heart, the love, of a mom and her children. The special heart of a mom is there to teach us about God’s love for us! We can learn more about God’s love for us when we look at a mother’s love for her child!
Let’s be clear: God is not male nor female! Both genders reflect something of the image of God; both genders teach us something about the character of God.
Disclaimer: Mother’s day may be a tough one for you. Maybe your mom let you down, deserted you, hurt you deeply. I don’t know your mom, but I do know at least one thing about her: she isn’t perfect – no one is.
Maybe your heart is tender today because your mother passed away this last year, or you are estranged from her.
Maybe today is a tough day because you would like to be a mom, and you haven’t had that experience for yourself. For many years, that was the case for Wanda. Not easy.
There are 3 things that Mom’s are great at doing that teach us something about God’s love for us.
1. Moms remember us!
Mom’s have a 6th sense; “eyes in the back of their head” when it comes to their kids. I didn’t appreciate it when I was a boy, but now I think it is a great thing!
Mom’s just “know” things about their kids – I think it comes from carrying them for 9 months. Mom’s keep stuff! A few years ago, my parents moved from our longtime family home in San Diego to Arizona. They called all the kids and said: “We have a bunch of your stuff in the attic. Come and get it, or it will be gone!” My mom kept all sorts of stuff that I would have long ago thrown out. I am sure that it reminded her what a special boy I was!
The bond between mother and child is incredible! Can a mom forget her child? Even more incredible – can a nursing mother forget her child? The answer, of course, is no! Her body won’t let her forget that a little baby is depending on her for his daily provision!
Even more than mom, God remembers!
“13Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:13-16
Sadly, a mom can forget her child; can neglect and abuse her child. But, it is so rare and out of character, that when it happens, it is tragic news. But the point of this passage is – as unlikely as a mom forgetting her child – God’s love is greater and God will never forget us!
There aren’t too many things in this world that are more touching then a mom holding her baby for the first time. Yet, God’s love for you is greater! God always remembers you; he never forgets you! That is one of Satan’s favorite lies – “God doesn’t know, doesn’t care, he has forgotten.”
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.” Ps. 139:17-18
God’s thoughts toward you are more numerous than the grains of sand along the shore. Your assignment this afternoon – go down to the beach and begin counting. See how far you get! Then remember, the number of beaches in the world . . .
mathematicians at the U of Hawaii tried to guess how many grains of sand are on the world's beaches. 7 + 18 zeros at the end.
The God who made all of this – thinks about you! Remembers you! Loves you!
2. Mom’s comfort us!
Most often, when we need comfort, we run to our moms. When we were little our moms would hold us, put a bandaid on it, and kiss it all better. What would dads do? “Shake it off! Be tough! No blood – don’t worry about it!”
The comfort of a mom is close, personal, intimate. After all, she carried you in her body for 9 months. She wants to nurture us, protect us.
One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm, a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was just about to turn off the light when he asked in a trembling voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?" His mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can’t, Dear," she said, "I have to sleep with your daddy." After a long silence he said, "The big sissy."
Even more than mom, God comforts!
God wants you to turn to him for comfort. Moms can comfort us, but God can comfort us like no one else!
“I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child. You will be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13 NCV
God the Holy Spirit is known as the “Comforter”. He is the “one called alongside to help”. I wonder how many times I have blown it because I haven’t accessed the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in my daily life? How badly have I stumbled because I have ignored the great truth that the Holy Spirit, the comforter is there – I have just ignored him? And, he is right there the whole time!
Do you need comfort today? Look to God! He is able to comfort you in a way that no one else can, nothing else can! Drugs, relationships, career, money, alcohol, accomplishments, money . . . won’t last, won’t work.
3. Moms help us grow!
This is a bittersweet thing for moms, and all parents. On one hand we long for the days when our kids are old enough to take care of themselves! No more diapers, carseats, spoon feeding, etc. We had the power! Strap them in highchairs, carseats, trap them in cribs . . .
But now on this end – it is hard to see your kids grow up and “leave the nest”. With a 20, 17 and 13 year old, we are on the other end of that cycle. Now control sounds good! If we could just buckle them in somewhere . . .
A mom’s job is to see our children grow up to be strong, independent, capable adults. Every good mom knows that she is working herself out of a job – at least a “hands on” one.
Mom’s teach us to read, feed ourselves, tie our shoes.
A little girl had been trying for months to learn the art of tying her shoes. She finally grasped the knack and was able to do it by herself. Her mom expected her to be delighted, but she surprised by her disappointment. Mom asked why she was crying. She sobbed, "I just learned how to tie my shoes." She said, "That’s wonderful, Honey, but why are you crying?" She replied, "Because now I’ll have to do it all by myself for the rest of my life."
It is cool to feed your kids when they are babies, but if you are still doing it when they are in their 20’s 30’s 40’s – something’s wrong! Mom’s teach us to love – even as they know that one day we might meet someone we love even more than her! And that love will lead us to go out and start our own family!
Even more than mom, God cares about our growth!
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom. 8:29 NLT
Often, our #1 goal is our own comfort, taking care of our self – but God has a greater goal for his children. He has a greater goal than your comfort.
God’s goal for you – is to form your character to be like Jesus! Just as every mom is pleased when her son grows up to be an independent adult – God wants us to grow up!
- How does God help us to grow?
God is the mother eagle, Israel the young eagle.
“In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its pinions.
12 The Lord alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.” Dt. 32:10-11
Eagles are interesting animals. It is cool that we live in an area that allows us to see them, their nests. They build big nests high up in trees. Those nests are lined with feathers, soft branches, leaves – it is cushy, warm and soft! Just the place for a baby eagle to hang out!
But, when the time is right, the mother eagle will do something that seems cruel and unusual! She will tear the nest apart with her own beak! She will expose the sharp sticks that were used to build the nest, and tear out all the soft lining of branches, feathers, etc. Can you picture that baby eagle? One day, life is good! Soft nest, food delivered every day, great view – the next day: “Mom has lost her mind! She is tearing the house apart! Help!”
Right after that, she even further loses it! Flying lessons begin. Flying lessons consist of hours of lectures, graphs, charts, power point presentations – no! Flying lessons consist of the mother pushing the baby eagle out of the nest! The eaglet falls and falls until death looks certain; at just the right time, the mother swoops down to save the floundering bird.
- God allows the circumstances of life to “poke” us.
- God gives us things that we cannot handle on our own; we feel like we are doing a “freefall” from the nest!
Wait, didn’t you just say that God is like our mom – he comforts us? Isn’t this a contradiction? No, God knows when we need comfort and when we need a push out of the nest. In fact, they may both be going on at the same time, in different areas of our lives!
God pushes us out of the nest to greater growth!
<man pushed into pool with alligators to win a bride>
Life is pretty good from the perspective of a young eagle. Bed is soft, good view, food is delivered on time without any effort . . . all of its needs are met, perfectly. Why change anything? I am sure that he is terrified to leave the nest! When it is pushed from the net, it has no idea how to fly! It flaps, tumbles, shrieks down toward the ground; not a pretty sight! Ever feel that way? I think we all have.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.” Psalm 22:1-2
Doesn’t that sound like someone in a freefall? “I thought you loved me! Why are you trying to kill me? What did I do to deserve this? My own mother!” Jesus quoted this Psalm on the cross. Aren’t you glad that we can trust God with our emotions? He created them, he isn’t shocked when we feel or express them to him.
Why does the mother eagle push the baby from the nest?
Why does God stir up our nest?
Eagles were not created to sit in a nest – neither were you! It is fine to see an eagle on the ground, but that is not where they belong – not where they are safe. They belong in the air, soaring above the ground, wings outstretched! God pushes us from our comfort zone into a place where we can learn to soar.
There is no growth without change.
There is no growth without pain.
There is no maturity without growth!
God’s plan, his design for you is to be like Jesus. You won’t get there sitting in a nest! God wants you to develop your wings and learn to fly.
The same wind that means destruction for an eagle on the ground is the same wind that lifts the eagle to new heights when it soars on powerful wings above the storm!
- The power of the storm is the power of destruction;
- The power of the storm is also the power to soar!
The promise of God: He will catch you when you fall.
“27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” Is. 40:27-31
What is God up to in your life?
- Do you feel forgotten? You aren’t!
- Do you need his comfort? He is here to give it to you!
- Do you feel him stirring up the nest? Do you feel the sharp sticks of circumstance poking you? Know that he has your highest good in mind!