Mother’s Day brings with it lots of emotion for women. There are those who grieve the loss of their mothers, or a broken relationship with their mothers. There are those whose arms are empty though they long to hold children of their own. There are those who are consumed with anxiety because their grown children are far from God or living in dire circumstances. Ah, Mother’s Day is not for the faint of heart. In some ways, it’s a call to courage and renewed trust in God. This is illustrated through the story of Hagar.
Hagar was an Egyptian slave bought by Abraham to serve his wife Sarah (Genesis 16:3). Her story is filled with abandonment, abuse, and affliction. Sarah, in a moment of impulsivity, commanded Hagar to go to bed with her husband. I know, right?! Messed up and dysfunctional for sure! Hagar becomes pregnant with Abraham’s child and as a result, Sarah is irate even though she’s the one who came up with the idea. Hagar ran from Sarah. Abraham did nothing to protect Hagar. The LORD heard Hagar sobbing in the wilderness. Hagar heard the LORD in her misery and called Him “the God who sees” (Genesis 16:13). Hagar gave birth to a son, and Abraham named him Ishmael, which means “God hears” (Genesis 16:15).
I find tucked within this story 3 promises for everyone who has ever felt abandoned, abused, or afflicted in any way. Especially as we celebrate Mother’s Day. If you’re grieving, these 3 promises are for you:
God sees. You may feel forgotten this Mother’s Day, but God has not forgotten you. He sees. He has seen every tear you have cried. In fact, the Psalmist tells us that God collects our tears in his bottle (Psalm 56:8). He sees every fallen tear and considers it precious. He sees the sleepless nights of the Mama who is rocking sick babies all night. He sees the Mama on her knees who is praying for her wayward teen to come home. He sees the groaning of the woman who longs to rock a baby but can’t seem to get pregnant. He sees the confusion of the Mom who has adopted but is now wrestling with the child who can’t seem to bond. Friend, He sees you. Your faithfulness is not lost to Him.
God hears. God heard Hagar sobbing in the wilderness (Genesis 21:16-17) and He hears your cries as well.He is the God who bends down to listen to every murmur and groan of our hearts (Psalm 116:2 NLT). He hears the faintest whisper and the loudest scream. You may feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling. It may seem that God is silent as you pour out your heart to Him. But, I promise you, He is bending down to listen. He has a plan and He has not forgotten you. His plan may not be what you imagined, but His plan for you is good (Jeremiah 29:11). Press into Him and ask Him for renewed hope.
God loves. Even though Hagar was abandoned by Abraham and Sarah, God had not abandoned her. He loved her and pursued her. Even when you feel hurt, angry, and confused, God pursues you because He loves you. It is God’s lovingkindness that reaches Hagar in the desert. When you feel most un-loveable, He speaks, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness, I will build you up again” (Jeremiah 31:3). God loved Hagar and drew her to Himself with a love that far exceeds any human love, and He will do the same for you.
Friend, as we approach Mother’s Day, and all the emotions that stir up, remember, God sees, God hears, and God loves you so very much. Press into Him and He will build you up!
All you Mamas out there, join me this Tuesday night May 4 at 7:00 pm ET for a virtual event with the Baker Book Store. My husband, Steve Harling, will be joining me for a conversation about How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk. You can get your FREE tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-author-night-with-becky-harling-tickets-147655781417
We’ll be giving away prizes. You may even win a $100.00 gift card that you can use at the spa of your choice!