“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” -Isaiah 66:13
Comfort has a context. The context is some kind of pain or suffering, some kind of fear or anxiety. That is the context of Isaiah 66:13. Rebellious Israel had gone their own way, taken to the way of the surrounding nations, embraced corruption, injustice and unrighteousness—practices unfit for a people of the Holy One. Not only were they doing unjustly, they were doing it in the name of their righteous God. So, only after they rejected numerous calls to reason it out, God let them go. He gave them over to experience their ways. He allowed them to share in the very fate of the injustice they themselves had been doling out. I guess sometimes even God has to let people learn by experience. But, how hard that must have been. We think too often of God as an angry dictator who is enraged at sin and does not care, who sees his world in black and white. We seem to think that because God has a plan to get through the pain that He does not feel the pain of suffering of his people and the world. Why in the world do we think that? Instead, especially in the light of Jesus, we should understand that God is a compassionate and caring Creator. God is love. How truly hard it must have been for God, not only to have his people turn their backs on him and but to then, for their own good and his name’s sake, hand them over to the suffering their sin they seem to prefer. How greatly God must have anticipated the day of his comfort. Even though he knew that the suffering would end, that he would use Israel’s rebellion to bring salvation to the world, how much the God of love must have longed to gather his children and comfort them. Isaiah 40 is where we find the promise of this turning point. “Comfort, comfort my people says our God.” It is this comfort that is later described as a mother comforting her child. It is this comfort that comes when, through the work of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the comforter is sent to the world.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is actually kinda sad we have to even have a day set aside to recognize Mothers. I think maybe we should rename it something like, “A Day To Remind Us To Celebrate Mothers Every Day.” But I suppose that does not have the same snappiness to it. But seriously, a mother’s work is too often thankless and overlooked. I hear it too often, “I don’t see how what I do makes a difference for the Kingdom of God. What can I do? Is my effort worthwhile? My children don’t even seem to listen, let alone obey. What should I be doing for Jesus? Does God appreciate my life?” Those are sentiments of the overlooked and unpraised. And, much too common among moms. However, as Isaiah 66:13 attests, a mother’s work is anything but overlooked by God. It is a profound thing that God likens his comfort to that of a mother. By likening His comfort to that of a mother God tells us that He sees, knows, and appreciates the comfort a mother gives her child. This is so much so that the Creator of the cosmos says, “See that, that mom holding her child, that is what my comfort is like”! There simply can be no higher praise!
Moms, your work is often overlooked by people, but not by God. God sees you and appreciates what you do so much that he likens what he does to what you do! “See, see that,” God says, “that mom who was there to comfort her child even after he went ahead and did what she told him over and over again not to do, see that? That,” God says, “is what my comfort is like.”
Please join us this Saturday as we appreciate mothers and talk about God’s comfort.