Regular mothers, everyday mothers are mentioned and honored throughout Scripture for their obedience and faith. Yet, they were not celebrities or royalty. For example, Samson’s unnamed mother raised a Nazirite who boasted superhuman strength, while the Moabite Ruth earned a position in the genealogy of the Messiah. (Judges 13, Matthew 1:1-5)
Nevertheless, some regular mothers faced significant challenges.
Mothers who owned and fixed their mistakes
In her opinion, ten years was too long to wait for God’s promise of a son. So, an aging Sarah decided to help God by giving her young handmaiden to her elderly husband, Abraham. As a result, Ishmael was born. (Genesis 16)
Sarah (formerly Sarai) had obediently followed her husband, (her lord who listened to an invisible God), to a foreign land and always held her tongue about packing up and returning to Ur. (Genesis 11:31, 1 Peter 3:5-6, based on this author’s understanding.)
Nearly 15 Years later, when God added a firm delivery date, Sarah laughed. Shall I now have this pleasure (of becoming a mother) when I am old? God saw and heard. Still, Isaac (whose name means laughter) arrived at the set time the following year. Now the promised heir was not the firstborn, creating a dilemma. So, Sarah insisted that Abraham send Ishmael and his mother away to resolve this. (Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-19)
Strangely enough, even though 20 years of prayer preceded the birth of her twins, and God told her that the older would serve the younger, Isaac’s wife also tried to help God.
Rebekah pushed Jacob to steal the Firstborn Blessing from his elder twin brother. Jacob got the Blessing, but his furious brother planned to kill him in exchange. The fix was equally cruel. As it turned out, Rebekah sent Jacob away and did not see his face again for two decades while his brother’s anger quelled.
Regular Mothers Who Clung to Faith
We cannot overlook the faith of Widow of Zarephath who gave beyond what she could afford to God’s prophet. (1 Kings 17:7-16) Similarly, the Shunammite, went straight to Prophet Elisha after her son of promise died unexpectedly. God resurrected her son. (2 Kings 4:8-37)
Both sons escaped death because their mothers trusted God’s words from the mouths of His prophets.
Mothers Who Gave Their Children to God
Hannah’s long wait to become a mother was unbearable torture to her soul, but God had a plan. He needed a prophet to anoint a king for Israel and serve the King of Heaven. So, God answered Hannah’s prayers after she promised to gift her son (Samuel) back to God. (1 Samuel 1)
Centuries later, the Virgin Mary had to surrender her Son of Promise, Lord Jesus. She knew about Jesus’ mission to serve God and to save lives since Angel Gabriel announced His arrival. So, she surrendered Jesus to His Father at age 12 and to His obedient followers, who He called “His mother and brothers.” Still, He cared for her to the end and assigned John to her as mother and son. The Sword she birthed seemingly pierced her maternal soul at His crucifixion. (Luke 2:34-35) Why John? John knew Jesus as the embodiment of the Father’s Love, the only Love that restores the soul.
Both Hannah and Mary released to God the sons received from God by faith.
The Birth of Joy
Interestingly, Jesus used the illustration of labor to describe the Joy that follows suffering:
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16: 21-22, NKJV)
Here are two additional examples in Scripture:
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians 4:19, NKJV)
But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. (1Peter 4:13, NKJV)
As the fruit of righteousness is peace, surely the offspring of joy erupts from suffering when it is accompanied by faith and obedience.
The Scriptures contain several examples of spontaneous exuberant praise. As a mother, Hannah’s joy is unmistakable (1 Samuel 2:1-10), and even an unloved Leah praised the Lord with the birth of her fourth son Judah. (Genesis 29: 34-35)
Regular women worship God.
On this Mother’s Day, we celebrate every mother who has clung to faith through trying times, trusted in God’s promises, corrected mistakes, or interceded for or gifted their children to God.
May Joy fill your hearts always.