A mother will stay with her sick child until the cure comes. She will even endure a child’s rejection of her love. That child may fall into sin, disregarding all his mother’s words of guidance and correction. He may become overwhelmed with despondency or unbelief, or become proud, stubborn and rebellious. Yet, through it all, his mother never gives up on him.
Consider this image of a mother eagle. “He kept [you] as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings” (Deuteronomy 32:10–11). Jesus refers to a similar image when He speaks of being “a hen [who] gathereth her chickens under her wings” (Matthew 23:37). In times of storm, such a mother hides her young safely and lovingly under her wings.
We are talking here about the tenderest, most trustworthy love known to human beings. If you were to go into any courthouse and peer into one courtroom after another, you would see young men on trial for every conceivable crime. And who would be watching from the courtroom seats? Mostly mothers.
Go to any prison on visiting days. Who do you see lining up to visit an incarcerated son or daughter? Mothers, heavy-hearted with grief—mothers who seem to have an unlimited capacity to love and forgive.
Many years ago, an old preacher wrote, “I don’t know if the Prodigal Son had a mother, but if he did, I assure you that while the father stood on the roof looking for his son to come home, that mother was shut in her room, praying and weeping. Later, when everyone was dancing at the son’s return, you would find that mother whispering hope and healing into her son’s ear.”
We may not understand why God allows our afflictions to continue; why those we love endure pain and trouble for so long; why so many of our prayers do not seem to receive a response; why so many of our questions go unanswered. But God is not obligated to answer all our questions. Indeed, we may not know any answers until we get to glory.
Yet there is one thing I will never question—and that is my Father’s love for me, revealed by the Holy Spirit who dwells within.