Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Original Mother's Heart

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an archaeologist. The whole idea of finding something buried and unseen by others appealed to me. When younger, I could be found digging in some corner of the yard. Best thing I ever found was an old spark plug calibrator. And then, I encountered Christ. My whole life changed, but my love for a good dig didn’t. It was simply redirected.

God placed a treasure trove of priceless jewels within reach when I was handed a Bible. Miner’s hat? Check. Pickaxe and shovel? Check. Burning passion to discover God? Check, check.

In my search for God’s nature, I stumbled across something stunning: His handiwork in fashioning mothers’ hearts. It’s easy to miss God weaving Himself into mothers and their hearts. A deep well, failing definition. Greeting cards offer armies of categories addressing it. Hollywood’s spent millions depicting it onscreen. Yet the wellspring of a mother’s heart remains mysterious.

Our Creator takes care to knit Himself into who we are and will become. In examining His love for us, His mothering nature is quickly apparent:

“…How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” (Matthew 23:37 NASB)

How could God reference Himself as a protective mother, lest He’d poured His compassionate nature into the mother’s heart? His maternal temperament continues:

“…He will rejoice over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17b NASB)

“Quiet in His love,” duplicates the tenderest moments between mother and child, referencing the child being fully contented and simply enjoying the closeness of its mother. The child wants nothing more than its mother’s presence. It’s a time of quiet love. Drawing powerful strength from her proximity alone. Again we see His mothering side:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb?” (Isaiah 49:15a NASB)

Who better than the Designer of mothers could explain this nurturing side of Himself? The nourishing definition of Jehovah Jireh. Our Provider. His provision in limitless care was famously spoken to Moses. Asking a yet unnamed God His name, He replied, “I Am.” A statement begging to fill in the blank. “I AM everything. I AM infinite. I AM all powerful.”

Until my mother’s passing, I took full advantage of my family membership and went straight to her for comfort. Dad understood my running past him to reach her arms. With advancing years, hurts changed, but the source of my consolation didn’t. I still went to Mom for comfort. For through her kindness, forgiveness, and never-ending compassion, I came to wholly trust God. He was easily recognizable in her and I deeply valued God’s mothering heart woven tightly into hers.

The birthing process is God’s idea. He’s maternally given birth to the universe, birth to our planet, and birth to us. Most importantly He’s given us re-birth, calling us into reconciliatory relationships with Him. Nicodemus needed clarification. He knew it impossible to reenter a mother’s womb a second time. God’s way was easier with no gestational period. Being born-again in the Spirit granted restoration with the Father; enjoying unbroken intimacy.

Our Father in heaven is solidly our Father. His maternal nature guarantees attendance at every bird’s funeral. Keeps track of 7.2 billion heads of hair. Tallies innumerable thoughts about us exceeding grains of sand. Stills our storms, heals our diseases, binds our broken hearts. The most potent attribute of His mother’s heart is His lavish forgiveness of our sins. Black sins, washed in red blood, producing robes of white righteousness. Like the mother that deliberately forgets her child’s shortcomings, He casts our sins directionally as far as the east is from the west, until sinking to the floor of the Sea of Forgetfulness.

Simply stated, He is Father God with a mother’s heart. Waiting to wipe every tear; sitting up with us through the night; and listening to our troubles—solving them while we are yet speaking.

The mother’s heart is best defined by her unselfish generosity in ongoing, unconditional giving. Thank you, Mom, for letting me feel God’s love radiate through you.

© 2012 Susan M. Watkins, used with permission.

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