Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - The Comforts of a Mother’s Arms

Today is a very special day for all of us. It is a day that we set aside to recognize our mothers and those who act as our mothers. All women who care for others, whether a child or another adult, are mothers and provide that special love and comfort like no other.

I remember growing up when I had a scrape or a boo-boo, my Mother was there to fix my skinned knee or bandage a cut. She would go to great efforts to clean and dress the wound or abrasion, but the most important medicine and first aid that she provided was a hug and wiping away the tears. There is something about a mother’s hug and the comfort given by her loving arms that makes things a lot better. It was and continues to be the best medicine in the world.

As I grew older, my boo-boos became more than physical. Sometimes, they were mental or spiritual. Sometimes more painful than a skinned knee or abrasion, they required a little motherly tender loving care. She would give me that wonderful medicine and attention of a hug and wipe away the tears. She would tell me that things would get better. Once I heard those reassuring words, I knew I could take those words not only to the bank but also to heart. Things would get better. Mom always knew best.

I am sure I am not the only one to receive that sort of love and attention. Each of you reading or listening to this message knows exactly what I am writing and talking about. We all have received that wonderful loving hug and reassurance from that special woman in our lives we call “mother”.

Each mother demonstrates that special love each day by doing things that most would not enjoy doing. She is there earning a living, cleaning the house or doing the laundry. She never complains. She does all of these things and so much more without praise nor does she seek it. She is there every day to kiss away the pains that we experience and to celebrate our achievements. Mothers are our cheerleaders and consolers.

So, when God created woman from the rib of the first man, He created something very special. She was not only a helper to Adam but also a mother to two sons and took care of them. She taught them to be godly and mended those scrapes and boo-boos. As I look back through the Bible, I see the strong women of the Bible being mothers, caregivers and consolers. Some of the women were even asked to be leaders or prophets. Look at Miriam, Deborah, Esther, Huldah and Jehosheba just to name a few. These women played not only pivotal roles but they were women who cared for others just like a mother cares for her children.

In order to even get a partial idea of God’s love and how much He cares for His children, we need not go too far into the scriptures to find out. Let us look at Isaiah 66:12-13. The Lord talks about how He will care for Jerusalem. As you read or listen to this scripture, pay particular attention to the example that He uses to convey His love for Jerusalem. He compares His love for this beautiful and special city to that of a mother. “12 This is what the Lord says: ‘I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her. Her children will be nursed at her breasts, carried in her arms, and held on her lap. 13 I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.’

The Lord talks of how the city will act as a mother to her children by nursing her children, carrying them in her arms and holding them on her lap just like an earthly mother does for her children. Later, the Lord talks about how He will comfort those in Jerusalem like “a mother comforts her child.”

By giving us this wonderful example, we get a glimpse of God’s love and His desire to care for and nurture us throughout all the days of our lives. He will shield us with His mighty arms just as a mother shields her child from harm. He will fix the scrapes and boo-boos we experience in our lives by wiping away the tears, mending the broken-hearted and telling us that things will get better. He, like our earthly mothers, will always be there no matter what happens in our lives. It is comforting to know that He is just a prayer away and we know that He will listen and act to protect, save and love His children.

A mother’s love transcends time and space and knows no bounds. It is through her example that we see the heart of the Lord for us. Years ago, I saw a picture of a plastic cast made of one of the victims of the volcanic explosion in Pompeii when Vesuvius in 79 BC blew ash and lava which obliterated not only the town but killed approximately 2,000 people. The plaster cast showed a mother desperately trying to shield her child from the devastation of that fateful day. She tried in vain to preserve and protect her child. She gave no thought to her own safety or life. She willingly sacrificed her life for her child. Although she was unsuccessful, her story is forever captured in plaster and it is a testimony to the love of mothers everywhere.

God’s love for us is just as timeless and even deeper and more eternal. We need not go any further in the Bible to understand that love. We can easily remember the words of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But, equally important is the next verse. “17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God, like mothers, does not condemn His children for their sins and transgressions. He provides them with salvation. He is slow to anger and quick to forgive, because He loves and wants only the best for His children. Once again, mothers are the same. They want to provide only the best and all that they can give to their children. Mothers are that earthly example of love, forgiveness and comfort that we experience when we have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. He comforts us when all seems lost and hopeless. He gives us the direction in our lives that we need. He, first and foremost, showers us with His love daily.

As we receive comfort from Him, we learn what it means to love and to provide comfort. Just as our mothers taught us to love and comfort others, God has done the same for us. When my Father-in-Law, Jim, passed away and went on to his reward, our pastor reminded me of why God gives us comfort. Reading from 2 Corinthians, “4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” God gives us the comfort that we need so that we can comfort those around us who also need to be comforted. Mothers do the same for us. They give us comfort so that we, in turn, can give comfort to those around us who desperately need it most.

Mothers provide to us the priceless gift of love and care through the most simple of activities, tending to the bumps and bruises, wiping away the tears and holding us when we need to be held. I cannot help but think to the traditions of the Sioux Indians. Warriors called each woman of their village “Mother”. Each was special and each cared for the children. It is a wonderful example of how we see the love of a mother. Nature also provides the example. Female animals even of different species will nurse and care for babies who have lost their mothers. I have personally witnessed this wonderful act of love many times. It warms the heart and brings a tear to one’s eye to see even animals have learned the love of our Heavenly Father. No matter what you are or who you are, He loves us and will take care of us.

As you go through this special day we call “Mother’s Day”, I encourage each of you to thank your mother or that special woman who took that role of “Mom” in your life. Let her know that you received a rich blessing by having their arms around you and letting you know that you are loved. As we thank our earthly mothers, let us also think about the love of God and how much He cared for us by giving us His son as our sacrifice for our sins and that He did not send him to live among us to judge or condemn us but rather to save us by providing salvation and redemption. When we accepted that wonderful gift and love, we knew from that moment on that we can stand firm in His grace.

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. 
~ Numbers 6:24-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

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