Mother’s unconditional travailing for her children

The love of parents for their children is nearing ‘unconditional’ in a sense of whatever kids do, until they deny their parents or so. Something that’s unheard of in the world, and it has to be from God. Only the God of the universe who created all living beings, is capable of that. 

My wife and I were in a zoom discussion group yesterday, one mother shared how she prayed for 5 hours in her 7 hours work while she’s working, all for her two boys. That’s doesn’t happen in one day, but generally regular, and she cried as she poured out how much she had prayed for her gone astray sons to come back to the Lord and questioned why after so many days, weeks, months of intense prayer, she doesn’t even see an inkling of change in her sons. She said she struggled with her own disbelief now, as the Lord doesn’t seem to hear at all even a little bit, after all these months of travailing prayers! I couldn’t help being choked up a little, as I felt her pain. We were all praying for our children and the burden upon the Christian parents is particularly heavy when the children had gone off from the Lord.

For you all with mothers, it’s time to call your mum, respect and honor you mum, for Christ sake. I am convicted myself! The depth of calling for mum and dad to love their kids, whether Christians or not, is a God given common grace inbuilt from the time of birth universally. No one needs to tell or teach a mum to love her kids. This is especially showing during the tender moment when a mother holds her baby in her arms. 

From a commonsense point of view, who would have signed up to join a membership when you needed help in the field you signed up for, you don’t hear from the provider after repeated calls, requests. Anger boils. It does make you wonder why our God is sometimes so silent in things that matter so much to us and over months or even years of crying out in prayers? I think every Christian needs to know the God whom we worship in his holiness, justice, steadfast love. 

But how does God not hear? In Psalms, there are plenty of cases when David or psalmist cried, “O God, why are you far from me?” But the ending is always praises of God’s steadfast love, and faithfulness. Let me take you through Psalm 22 in my devotion this morning from getting daily mails from Matthew henry, an amazing focused verse for meditation and prayers.

Psalms 22:1-5 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest. 

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises. 

1. Perfectly acceptable to cry out to God and question him with reverence in trying times

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest. 

This is David crying out to God asking and questioning God why he has forsaken him. It’s okay to question God in an attitude of awe and reverence like David. He questioned God, crying why he hasn’t heard his prayers. That’s the kind of thing we experience sometimes. But David is always affectionate towards God, passionately worshipping God with all his heart, no matter what he faced. In fact, God delivered him at all times. Though there were times, when he was snubbed for God’s reasons.

He called God as “but you do not answer” 2 “My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,” It’s better to have straight talk from your heart with God, instead of hushing it, and may just results in disbelief, and backslide in bitterness. It’s so much better to talk it over with God, just like you do it with your wife/husband, when things makes you mad. Always have a good talk. But with God, it’s different, because he is not a human, that you talk to and he responds. He is Spirit, and the Lord Jesus is our mediator, God, shepherd. But we can learn from David. Talking to God and pour out your heart to him. You will feel better after that, because you know he has heard you. That’s really important for you, your sanity, and the Lord wants our hearts, and he will take heart.

2. God is still enthroned that our fore-fathers put their trust in him in their hard times

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

            Life testimony is one of the most powerful encouraging things we have. When Israel crossed the Jordan River, God asked Joshua to pick up stones for memorial, that their descendants may not forget. The great acts of God need to be in our minds, at all times, especially in times of discouragement, travailing with no seeming answers. Testimonies is more powerful that theology at certain times. We need both, because testimonies is theology in life. 

David’s genius is he is so good at shifting from the poor me, grumbling me, look at me, kind of mindset, to the awesomeness of God, the greatness of God immediately. He recounted the great things God has done before, what happened to his forefathers, as they trusted in God and God saved them, and were not put to shame. Those are precious moments that’s so important, from looking at ‘me’, to looking at God’s greatness and power and strength. In fact, that pretty much sums up psalms.

3. Remember that God made me to trust in him even at my mother’s breasts

God made you trust But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

That brings us back to the moment of creation of life. God designs us to be that way. Whether a person grown up to accept God or reject God, that element must be true in every human being. But it’s the corruption and the moral decay in this world that robs people of that, if they reject God later on.

In hard times, we must go back to our beginning with God. From our mother’s wombs, Jesus has been our God. That’s never changed, and never will, no matter what we go through. We must enthrone God higher than our kids well-being or even our own well-being. God is bigger than families. He is bigger than our own very souls. Nothing in the world that we can hang onto, not even our spouses, but only our Lord Jesus Christ. That realization must transcend our hardship.

4. Continue to cry out to God

But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

After all the complaining’s by David in this psalm, and then acknowledged the greatness of God, he returned to his original cry for help. Granted not everything was answered by God, the big ones and the righteous ones, God did. He cried out to God to deliver him. I think all mothers, fathers with children astray can and continue to cry out to God, and God in his own timing will answer. We can’t dictate him, but we can petition him. 

5. We should continue to proclaim God’s name and revere him as he has dominions over all regardless of our prayers

I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

In fact this is a prophetic psalm for Jesus as our Messiah as the Son of God incarnated into this world, to bear the sins of the world, and finally crucified, rejected by God the Father as Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” This is a powerful testimony of his suffering and eventual turning up for something beautiful and wonderful that changed the world forever, changed our destiny forever. Can you imagine if he didn’t suffer? We will all be doomed to burning hell for eternity.

Jesus was not answered by his Father for good reasons. I know all parents prayers and petitions to God for their strayed kids, in all perspectives, are right in the sight of God, and therefore be answered. But there are times in history God rejected his Son, many apostles were beheaded, martyred, and great forefathers like Justin Myrtle, were all martyred for the glory of God. 

With this perspective, lets believe in the bigness of God, his sovereignty, and God is good.

3 thoughts on “Mother’s unconditional travailing for her children

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