Jewish women waited for a messiah. They hungered to be the mother of the Savior. They bore children in the hope of a messiah. They raised, nourished, taught, and sheltered their children in anticipation. Anticipation of salvation. Hope for a victory. Faith in God’s promises.
And so many years later — here we are, doing many of the same small tasks. Aching bodies growing new life. Nursing babies waking us through the nights. Small children with small needs. Mouths to feed, over and over. Floors to clean, clothing to tend to, physical needs to meet.
But we are in a different place in this story. We are not mothering in hope anymore. We are mothering in victory. We are not bearing children to clear a field for planting, we are bearing children to work the harvest.
It can be so easy for us to get caught up in the details of mothering. The details of lost sippy cup lids, and watercolor messes. The demanding work of keeping the fridge full, and the laundry empty. The worry over high school grades and college scholarships. The work of buckling people in and out of our cars, spending the days in the details, and forgetting to see what the big story is.
The sacrifices we make every day are not made in a losing battle. They are the sacrifices of the victorious. They are the cost of a winning war.
God does not share our sentimental view of motherhood. While he delights in children, he does not speak of them in some cutesy photo shoot kind of a way. He compares them, not to tiny fairies, or dewey flowers, but to arrows. To weapons in the hand of a mighty man.
God does not tell us to desire the blessing of children because their cheerful voices will make our houses feel cozy. He tells us to desire children who will contend with the enemy in the gate.
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