Motherhood a Special Connection
I have a special connection with my daughter, and when I heard about the woman’s devotional “The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak” by Shannon Bream, it intrigued me. What does the Bible have to say about motherhood, and what could these biblical women have to say to me? Although my daughter is not biological, I see so much of myself when I look at her, and because of that, I worry about her. All kidding aside, I worry because she is growing up in a world that has lost track of what it means to be a woman, and less importance is being placed on being a mother. You may not be a mother or a grandmother, but one thing is for certain: you were someone’s daughter, and you wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t given you birth. I, for one, am very proud to be my mother’s daughter, and I am equally proud to be a mother. Our creator gave the gift of procreation to our first mother, Eve, and from that moment on, we women have a connection to God and each other.
So, in response to how the world would have us look at motherhood and the roles that women should have, I feel this devotional is not only timely, but necessary. We will join Shannon as she takes us on a journey of discovery by looking at nine biblical families and see how their stories apply to our stories.
Open our Bible Study with Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, we come to You today as mothers, grandmothers and daughters who are so grateful to You for these relationships and ask for wisdom as we study Your word. Motivate us to read our Bibles daily, delve deeper into Your ways, and learn from the women in these stories, all we can about how to build closer relationships with each other and live a powerful Christian life. We ask this In Jesus’ name. Amen
Jochebed and Miriam:
Shannon starts us off with Jochebed and Miriam, the first mother and daughter pair we see interacting in the Bible. After Pharaoh commanded all male babies to be thrown into the river, it took the two of them working together to keep Moses hidden. How brave they both were to do this, what faith Jochebed had to have. Did Jochebed have a deep perception about Moses’ destiny? We read Acts 7:20 “Moses was born—a beautiful child in God’s eyes.” and Hebrews 11:23 states “It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.” I like what Shannon said “Jochebed’s life is a perfect example of the impact and eternal importance of motherhood. Without Moses, where would we all be? What if his mother and sister had not been open to the spirit of God telling them to be courageous? Our first question Shannon proposes to us is:
1. Do you believe God can give a mother insight beyond what human eyes see on the Surface? How can that propel the way she prays for and directs her child?
Read: Philippians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:3-4, Romans 12:2
I believe God can and does give awareness to us concerning our children. I knew all my life that I shouldn’t give birth to my own child for health reasons, but God placed a foreknowledge in my heart that one day I would be a mother. He even let me see Kitty’s face in a dream. He also let my father-in-law see himself holding J.J. on his lap. Both visions happened way before we had decided to adopt from Guatemala. My revelations were not as important as Jochebed’s about Moses, but it served God’s purpose to let Joe and I know He had a plan. God gives us little peaks into His plans, not for our benefit, but so that we can use those insights to glorify His name. So that right now I can say to all of you, God’s hand was in every part of our children’s adoption. When God works in your life, your job is to share this with others to point to God’s loving intervention in our lives. And our prayer life needs to reflect this belief, that our life matters to a living God, who listens and plans. He planned my life from choosing where and who my parents would be, to where and who my children would be. His will be done.
2. What feelings do you think Jochebed experienced when it was time to send Moses to Pharaoh’s daughter? Has God ever asked you to release someone-or-something-you loved dearly to His greater plan? How do you reason through those kinds of decisions?
Read: Psalm 38:9, Job 1:20-21, Proverbs 3:5-6
I see Jochebed lying in bed pregnant, knowing that Pharaoh had decreed that all male babies were to be killed, and knowing in her heart that her baby was a boy. Before she could even rejoice over the birth of a new child, she was in mourning for the loss of that child. Moses lived, but he would still be lost to her because he would go to live in the house of the man who made it all happen. It seemed that each joy was overshadowed by loss. From the beginning, she had to trust in God’s plan for Moses, and so do we, when God calls us to make a personal sacrifice.
I loved being in business, and when God gave me the vision of us losing not only the work I loved, but our home and a great many of our possessions. I prayed for Him to change His mind. I tried to negotiate with Him, but in the end, I had to release it all to His control. As I sit here with all of you, I can see now where God’s plans took us, but at the time, all I felt was sadness. God gave me a scripture that helped me to reason through this situation. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We have all heard the NIV version, but have you heard the version from the Good News translation? “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”
I feel this sums it up perfectly. God alone decides what is best for you, and he doesn’t need to share these decisions with you. He has a plan, and it includes your hopes and desires. So, when we are going through trials, like losing a loved one, or our material items, or any type of personal sacrifice, we have to let go and trust. Trust in a God who has proved how much He loves us. He made the ultimate sacrifice in our behalf, He gave His Son to die for our sins, so that we could have eternal life, not so that we would have everything we want in this life. I know this seems harsh, but when we are a part of God’s chosen people, the trials we endure are not things done to our life, they are done for our life. Rest assured our lives are in the hands of a loving God, that always has our back, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
3. For years, Moses was on the run, away from his family and struggling with the role God had planned for him. Have you ever shied away from something God called you to do? What do we know about God’s ability to equip us to accomplish when He’s asking us to step out in faith? (Exodus 3,4) Have you ever tried to talk God out of something? Did you eventually see how His plan was better than yours?
Read: Jeremiah 10:23, Isaiah 55:8, Proverbs 16:9
Moses had been saved from death by God’s intervention, because his destiny was to save his people. On that fateful day when He saw the Hebrew slave beaten, his path and plan he had for his life was forever changed. We all have plans we create in our minds, but sometimes those plans don’t match the plans of God. Moses is a great example of what not to do when our plans come crashing down. But he is also an example of what most of us do. As in my story about my bankruptcy, I hid the truth of what God showed me that was coming; I tried to beg and plead my case for why this was not only not fair, but not good for all the people involved. My employees, family and even the companies I did business with. Just like with Moses, God had an answer for each of my arguments. God knows what plans and goals we need to have. I thought my purpose was to earn a living for my family and all those other families that depended on me. You may feel that your life plan is about similar things, but we need to know that it is all for one central goal. That goal is to remain in the House of the Lord forever. So, when our dreams and goals differ from the ones God has planned, we only have a few choices. One: act out in frustration and disappointment, try to kick down some doors, which will only make things worse. Or two: you can lean on these truths when God’s plans differ from ours.
God is more interested in our sanctification than He is in how wonderful you think your plans are. God wants you to focus on what will last. Most of what worries you won’t be around tomorrow. God wants you to care about your faith, growth, and salvation. Above all else, focus on getting God’s Word into your heart and bringing people into his family.
God is in control of every detail of your life. Your plans don’t fail randomly. God has a purpose in everything in your life. He is good to you, even when you’re cranky, but He loves you even when you’re unlovable. You may have been going the opposite direction from God, but He will call you back to Him, and equip you both mentally and physically if you only ask.
Being here working in God’s church has become not just my new life, but a better life than I could have made by staying in business. My family has true security, both financial and heavenly. I have more influence for Christ than I ever would have if God had granted my pleas to stay where we were. What things is God calling you to stop running from? How will you stop hiding from His will? When will you see His hand in your broken plans, and trust Him in His goodness as He shows you the way forward?
4. Have you ever watched as a child or loved one seemed to get way off track? How do you pray for or counsel them while you wait and hope they return?
Read: Psalm 62:8, Psalm 112:7, Jeremiah 17:7
People often get discouraged when praying for loved ones and wonder if their prayers ever really help. Well, guess what? Yes! Your prayers can be a powerful force in the lives of your relatives and friends if you know how to pray for them according to the wisdom and Word of God. But what exactly should we be praying?
Pray Scripture over them. Jesus used scripture when He prayed, and other people in the Bible did it, and we are supposed to do it too. Praying scripture not only honors God but also aligns our lives with His will, which is something we all want. Prayer is powerful on its own, there's no doubt about that. Whether we use God's words or ours, He will always listen and respond. However, the benefits that come with praying God's Word back to Him cannot be denied. We can pray scripture back to God by adding scriptures to our prayers, or we can pray a whole passage or verse. It takes a little more time than only thanking God for what He has done and asking for what we need, but it's worth it. Praying the scriptures helps you be specific. When you're praying God's word back to Him, you're specific about what you're saying. There's no beating around the bush or being unsure. You confirm with God that you want what He wants for you.
Insert your loved one’s name in this prayer and pray it often:
Lord, the whole earth is yours, and everything in it! The world and all its people belong to you — including _____________. May he/she understand the depth of your love for them today (Based on Psalm 24:1).
Lord, your Word says in Acts 2:21 that everyone who calls on your name will be saved. I pray that _____________will call on your name. Please help ___________ escape from the control of sin in their lives. I pray this for your glory!
Pray for them to discern God's voice. Pray for God to be loud to your loved ones. People will hear our voices in their heads. And they may try to shut out that voice at times if their hearts are hardened. They will also hear their friends' and peers' voices, and the voice of the enemy seeking to lead them astray. But we want God's voice, the voice of His Holy Spirit, to be louder than anyone else's voice. Pray that they will become open for God’s wisdom and understanding, by praying this prayer:
Insert your loved one’s name in this prayer and pray it often:
Lord, help ____________ to listen to what You say, and to treasure Your commands. Tune _______________'s ears to wisdom, and help _____________ concentrate on understanding (Proverbs 2:1-2, NLT). Instruct ______________in the way of wisdom and lead ________________ along straight paths (Proverbs 4:11).
Pray for wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. There will come a time when your words fall on deaf ears, but God will never stop listening to you. Pray for wisdom so you know when to speak, and what to speak, and when to be silent so God can speak. Here's a way to pray for that right now:
Insert your loved one’s name in this prayer and pray it often:
Lord, Your Word says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5). Lord, I need that kind of wisdom to know when to speak to ______________ and when to be silent. "Do not let any unwholesome talk (lecturing, judging, or accusing) come of (my) mouth, but only what is helpful for building (my loved one) up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29). Let me also be "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for (my) anger doesn't bring about the righteous life that God desires" (James 1:19).
As we surrender our loved ones to God through prayer, we can trust that they are in His hands and He'll do whatever work He wants to do in them for His glory. We can worry or we can pray. We can stress or we can trust. We can lose sleep by trying to control their every step or we can rest in the One who is already in control of their lives, whether they are acting like it or not.
Praise God for what you don't yet see. There are three verses in the Bible that clearly spell out God's will for us as individuals, as parents, and as children of God: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
It couldn't be said any simpler:
1) Be joyful always;
2) Pray continually; and
3) Thank God -- for all circumstances, not just the ones you are comfortable with.
Thank God often for something in your loved one’s life that you wouldn’t ordinarily be thankful for, as a way of trusting His work in their life. It’s also a way of acknowledging that God is in control and a tangible way of waiting expectantly for God to come through.
5. Miriam, Aaron, and Moses were key leaders in Israel’s escape from slavery. What does it say about Jochebed that she raised these three siblings, who ultimately found their way back to each other to accomplish God’s miracles? They were flawed and prove that sibling rivalry was alive and well in biblical times. How does their story illustrate God’s ability to work through flawed people?
Read: Exodus 9:16, Hebrews 13:20-21, 2 Timothy 2:20-21
God has the amazing ability to do things that simply do not make sense to mankind. In fact, in one place in scripture, God said that what He was doing could not be understood even if He explained it. Because God created all He can use anything in creation. Including those who don’t believe He exists. It’s something we can clearly see within the story of Moses and his family. God can use even the most unlikely people to accomplish His will. God said that He used Pharaoh so that His name would be known on all the earth. Moses was sent by the Lord multiple times to Pharaoh asking for the release of the Hebrews. Each time Moses would perform a mighty sign to convince Pharaoh of Gods’ power, but each time God would harden his heart. Causing him to not let the people go. Until finally it came to the Red Sea where the Egyptian army was destroyed, and the tale spread across the world to the glory of God. As flawed as we are, God can use us to be instrumental in our family's lives. And as mothers, we have a sacred duty to rear our children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Shannon Bream told us that “Whenever God clearly directs us to take on a seemingly impossible task, we can rest in the knowledge that He’s the one who’s actually going to be getting the job done.” Be open for God to work in your life like Jochebed and Miriam were.