Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
We’re continuing our look at God as a comforting mother. Nowhere in the bible does it say God is a mother but there are many feminine characteristics scattered through the bible that is worth thinking about.
Previously we spoke about:
- God is like a mother but is a father
- God is compassionate like a mother
God Is Sacrificial Like a Mother
A mother with a baby might say, O-o-oh, do you need a nappy change, poor little boy? But dad might say, O man, could you not have waited to do that? It was changed only a few minutes ago!
Some women put their careers on at least a temporary hold and go through the pains of pregnancy and childbirth to have a child.
Jesus once said:
When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions. (John 16:21-23 – The Message)
God understands the pain that mothers go through, not just in labour but in the decades that follow. He has seen us, his children, go astray and reject him, but still he loves us. How amazing knowing that he was going to a city that had killed prophets before and would kill him, Jesus doesn’t go in as a conquering manly warrior king.
Rather, he says, “I am like a mother hen, cooing over you, wanting to gather you under my wings.” Surely God understands the thankless task of trying to win over kids when they are rebelling and think you hate them. The thousands of sacrifices the average mother makes for her children reflects upon the ultimate sacrifice of his life that Jesus would make.
Jesus died so he could gather his unwilling creation like a mother hen would gather her chicks. He is hunting for them and searching for them right now to love them, forgive them, cleanse them from their guilt and shame, and make them into true children of God.
Jesus scorned the shame and pain of the cross because of the joy set before him— the joy of us as his children.
God Is Comforting Like a Mother
When it comes to hugs and kisses, especially if they are upset, many kids look to their mum for comfort. Just as a skillful mother can pacify and soothe the woes of her child, so is God with us.
- Are you distressed? God will comfort you
- Who is sorrowful? God will calm your troubles
- Who is stressed? God will cause you to rest in him
God is the God of all comfort. Jesus told us he was sending “another comforter” to replace himself, which tells us that his role and that of the Spirit was to comfort us.
Our response to being comforted? We feel understood; we feel calmed. Stress lifts. Anxiety passes. Our problem now belongs to the one whose wings we shelter under.
If you feel you are not there yet, you are probably right! Which of us is? But, that is our goal, arriving at a place where we trust God so much that we are not worrying about the events of our life, where we are calm and able to face the day.
God Wants Us to Offer Comfort to Others
Perhaps you struggle with the question, Why, God? when you question something that has happened to you. There is a myriad of different circumstances life throws at us that make us ask that question:
- abuse by others
There are no easy or complete answers to the question Why?
One answer is that God wants you to quiet yourself, stop examining things ‘too lofty for us to understand’, and instead be comforted by him so that you, too, can comfort others. But perhaps you need the comfort of others today. Maybe you are far from the place that you can help someone else. Who here needs a touch from God? Maybe you need a touch from your neighbour.
Maybe you know from personal experience the truth that God is the God of all comfort— it is time you learned to pass that on! He comforts us so that we can comfort others. But, you say, I am not a pastor or a theologian. I say, God tells us to comfort each other with the comfort he has given us. Do we listen to the troubles of each other and show that we care? Do we help each other to find the strength that only God can give?