May 13 I Sunday
2 Kings 17-18
“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” —Isaiah 66:13
Since we so often call God “Father,” we can easily forget that within His heart is also the heart of a mother. A mother’s heart is one of care and compassion. Mothers are constantly drawn to place the needs of their children before themselves. Canadian author and historian Charlotte Gray once said, “Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.”
This is the heart God has for His people. Isaiah 49:15-16 compares God’s heart to that of a mother’s, saying, “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! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands…” In other words, God is saying, “I love you more than your own mother.” As much as we love our children, only in God do we discover the highest love there is; one that will never leave us, never forsake us and is always faithful.
God knows what it is like to have children turn their backs on Him. Just before Moses died, he recalled Israel’s 40-year journey to the Promised Land, in which he says of the Israelites, “You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth” (Deuteronomy 32:18). God is no stranger to the pain and heartbreak that comes when children rebel against their parents. He understands the tears, confusion and sleepless nights. We can lean on God with heartfelt prayer in times like this, knowing He shares our pain and will never lose sight of our children.
Jesus expressed this same heart for His children. Just days before His crucifixion, He looked over Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and deeply lamented, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Luke 13:34). The imagery of this passage became particularly poignant for me after a hen hut burned down near where we lived in England. Fire had ravaged the hut, but when workers looked through the cinders and rubble, they found a mother hen crouching protectively over her little chicks. In the midst of destruction and fear, this hen simply wrapped her wings around her children. What a beautiful portrait of the love, compassion and protection we receive when embraced by the mother’s heart of God!
Prayer: Precious Lord, I think of Your mother’s heart this Mother’s Day. Thank You for caring for me, protecting me and comforting me with Your unfailing love. In Jesus’s name.