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May 5, 2016, 7:25 PM

Mother's Day

One of the things that I find puzzling in the Bible is the number of barren women who become Mothers later in life. Some that immediately come to mind are Sarah who become the mother of Isaac, Samson's mother, John the Baptist's mother Elizabeth. There are others, but these stand out because of the unique circumstances that surround each situation. 

I have often wondered why these women were barren for so long before having this child. It seems from surrounding texts that this is a great weight and a great burden on these ladies. Why had God not enabled them to have children up until that point? Was God keeping them from having children? After all, the Bible does say that children are a blessing from the Lord. 

One obvious answer seems to be the unique role each of these children play in the redemptive story of God. Scripture, and even all of history, is God's story of redeeming mankind. Each of these children had a highlighted role in that story. Isaac was the son through which God would establish His people through. Samson was a judge who would play a role in establishing the Hebrew people in the Promise Land. John the Baptist was the one who would prepare the way of the Lord. 

So, perhaps the role that these children would play in God's story warranted their unique birth. A miracle birth to emphasize their special role in God's story. But, especially in the case of Sarah and Elizabeth who were advanced in age, would it have been any less of a miracle birth if they had already had children. Was it necessary that they wait to have children? I'm not sure. 

Maybe the observation that should be made is that God has a unique plan for each child. Maybe their unique birth story is meant to highlight that truth. I think it is safe to say that God has a plan for everyone. His Word seems to say so in Jeremiah 29:11. But, could God not have illustrated that point even if those children had siblings? David had siblings and it worked to help show that point in his story. 

The truth is, I'm not sure if there is a good answer to my question. But, I think I have an interesting observation. Maybe these stories play out this way to emphasize that God has a unique plan for the mothers. Scripture makes it obvious that these ladies had a strong desire to be a mother. Yet they have to wait and wonder if it will ever happen. 

There is benefit in the struggle and questioning. 

One of the points raised in our Strategic Revival this week is that there is benefit for us from times of struggle and questioning. God's will and God's timing work together, but we often have to wait on His timing. This is hard. It leads to many questions and much anguish. But it also leads to a deeper walk with Christ and a greater understanding of God's love. 

All too often we associate God's love with Him blessing us, and there is that aspect. But, God's love is much too deep and much too wide to be thought of in that way. God's love is there when the blessings don't seem to be. God's love is there when the questions can only be uttered as tears. God's love is there when the struggle makes it hard to breathe. If we only recognize God's love in celebration, we have only begun to scratch its surface. 

Psalm 23 says “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  While these mothers were not going through the valley of the shadow of death, they were stuck in the pit of anguish and despair. When that is where we find our self and we wonder where God is; Psalm 23 says that He is there with us. 

I cannot pretend to know reasons why these ladies went through years of wondering, questions, and anguish. Just like I can't pretend to know why an innumerable list of others situations are the way they are. Just like I cannot understand why the heart breaking situations in my life did not go a different way. But I do know that I benefited from the struggle and the questioning. 

I understand God's love in a way that can only be understood from heart break. These women did too. They understood that God was with them. 

God has a desire for us all. He wants us to trust His son Jesus as Lord and Savior. He wants us to know that He is with us. He wants us to understand the depth of His great love. He wants us to understand that His greatest blessing is Himself. Sometimes, this comes in times of struggle and questioning. 

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