By Alan Bailey
Someone by the name of William Howells said, "Often a man never sees all that his mother has been to him till it's too late to let her know that he sees it."
How easily I can identify with that. Looking back, I clearly remember the constant, patient work of my mother keeping house and looking after my every need and those of my five siblings. No complaining, ever faithful, yet rarely thanked. We took everything for granted. We can't thank her now – it's too late.
Yet we live in days when the work of a wife and mother in the home is looked upon almost with disdain by many. Life in the corporate world with sales, investments, workplace policies and ad infinitum are held to be the things of importance. Having children is not a high priority, and running a household can be considered a real inconvenience. How reversed our society's values have become. My mother raised six healthy, balanced adults who made their way in the world. Millions have done likewise. Please tell me how that is unimportant, especially in a world where the family unit has been so devastated and where teenage suicide is at record levels.
I have heard it said that in the most miserable and frightening experiences of war, soldiers in the trenches have cried, calling for their mother. No, not dad, not wife, but the one who from day one nurtured them, sympathised with their hurts, picked them up to start afresh. This example points towards the vital connection children have with their mothers and the critical role mothers play in the family.
True, there are examples of women who have failed as mothers; some have been unbelievably cruel to their children, although most mothers are, of course, exceptional.
For those who have experienced hurt from their mothers, we read in the Bible where God says,"Can a mother forget the child she bore? Yes, she may forget, yet I will not forget you" (Isaiah 49:15).
In another place we read:
"Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up" (Psalm 27:10).
Jesus later wept over the city of Jerusalem saying, "How I would have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused" (Matthew 23:37). He went on to die for them.
We are reminded that our Maker, God, cares for each one of us like a loving mother.
This is the beauty and joy of knowing God will never forget us, or abandon us. Instead, He sent his only Son as the supreme expression of his love to die for all humanity, despite their rejection of Him, that we may have forgiveness for our sins, and a never ending personal relationship with Him by faith.
Here is love at its greatest.