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Faithful to God

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” – 1 Samuel 1:10-11, NIV

Hannah was the beloved wife of Elkanah despite being barren. Elkanah had a second wife, a woman named Peninnah who had several children of her own.

Each year when it was time for their family to attend the annual feast, Peninnah would taunt Hannah. She would bring up her lack of children and keep tormenting her until Hannah would begin crying.

As the feast was ending one year, Hannah went to the temple (church). There she prayed that God would grant her a child. She promised that if God would do this for her, she would not consider the child hers but the Lord’s.

Later when God gave her a beautiful baby boy, Hannah held him close. She was with him, night and day. She never wanted him to leave her arms. She treasured each smile, coo, and kiss.

Then when her son was weaned, Hannah took him to the temple. She introduced the boy to the priest and explained that he was to be a servant of the Lord all of his days.

Hannah was faithful to God’s plan for her son’s life, even though it broke her heart to send him away. Sometimes, a mother must make a difficult sacrifice to raise godly children. But those sacrifices are never in vain, for God sees your faithfulness.

God, help me to be faithful like Hannah was. I want to raise godly kids who seek You. Please give me the strength to do that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Discovering Her Identity

Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” – Genesis 29:32, NIV

Leah watched as her sister, Rachel, flirted with Jacob. She watched as they courted, the secret glances they stole at each other when they thought no one else was looking. She admired the way Jacob worked for seven years so that he could marry Rachel.

Then her father came, just hours before her sister’s wedding. He shoved the bridal clothes at her, demanding she slip into them and wed Jacob in her sister’s place.

The next morning, she could hear Jacob shouting at her uncle, demanding to know why he’d been betrayed. Then seven days later, Jacob married Rachel, the sister he truly loved.

Leah was trapped in a loveless marriage but God saw her misery. He sent her a son, and she named him Reuben. She was certain that now her husband would love her and in doing so, made the mistake of placing her worth in her husband and her children rather than God. That’s why she’d spent years feeling so empty and chasing Jacob.

But somewhere along the way, Leah accepted her true identity as a favored daughter of God. She understood that God loved her unconditionally and let that love fill her with peace and joy.

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. – Genesis 29:35, NIV

God, help me to remember my worth comes not from my relationships. Like Leah, let me rest in You, content with the knowledge that I am Your beloved child. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Mother Who Doubted

“Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.” – Genesis 21:2-3, NIV

Sarah had once imagined sticky handprints on the walls, bedtime cuddles, and Saturday mornings spent with a child. But the years had slowly turned into decades and there was no baby.

She had cried more tears than there were in the sea. Eventually, she reached a place of painful acceptance. She let go of the dream and accepted that a child would never come from her womb.

But one day, she overheard her husband, Abraham, talking to two strangers. Angels the Lord had sent who promised that she would bear a son.

Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:11-12)

Sarah’s laughter revealed her inner doubt. She smoothed her hand over her flat belly and sighed. Nearly ninety, her youth had faded. Yet her doubt didn’t stop God from giving her a son.

Sarah’s story proves that God can still work a miracle even when we struggle with doubts. His miracles are not dependent on you or what you do, for He is the Eternal God.

God, forgive me for my doubts. I’m trusting You to redeem this situation in Your way and in Your timing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Next Generation

“You will become pregnant and have a son whose head is never to be touched by a razor because the boy is to be a Nazirite, dedicated to God from the womb. He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” – Judges 13:5, NIV

Jamie was pregnant with her first child. While she was excited for the birth, she was also scared. When Liz, an older woman from her church reached out to her, Jamie shared her fears.

“My mother was addicted to drugs and my father was in and out of prison for most of my childhood. I’m afraid that what happened in one generation will keep repeating in the next. How can I raise a child when I’ve never had a good example of how to do it?”

Liz shared the story of Samson’s mother. “An angel visited Manoah’s wife and told her she would become pregnant with a son who would later be called Samson.”

“When her husband, Manoah wanted to know how to raise the boy, the angel came to the couple and shared God’s instructions again. God will give you wisdom and reveal how to parent your child if you only ask.”

God, let me remember that the sins, mistakes, and problems with the previous generation don’t have to be my child’s story. Show me how to be a wise and loving parent, just like You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Jochebed a Mother of Faith

“Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.” – Exodus 2:1-2, NIV

Jochebed, the mother of Moses, lived in a heartbreaking time. By the decree of Pharaoh, the sons born to Israelite women were to be drowned by the mid-wives.

But when Moses was born, Jochebed hid her son for three months. She must have heard the stories from other mothers, seen their empty arms, and wept with them as they whispered the names of the children they would never see grow up.

So when she could no longer hide Moses, she put him in a basket and sent him down the river. Then she left and returned home, leaving his sister to watch from a distance.

What faith that must have taken to leave her little boy in the arms of God. Her trust was rewarded when a few hours later, she heard her daughter calling. Moses had been rescued from the basket!

As a mom, there may be times when you have to place your child in God’s arms and trust what He is doing. Perhaps your daughter has struggled with an addiction for many years. Maybe your chronically-ill son needs yet another surgery.

It’s not easy to walk through these situations. But rest in the knowledge that God has a beautiful plan for your child’s life and He can fulfill that plan no matter how dim things might look right now.

God, please help me to trust You with my baby. Let me be like Jochebed and trust You in all things, even the moments when this mother’s heart is breaking. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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A Difficulty Pregnancy

“The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” – Genesis 16:7-8, NIV

Hagar found herself alone and pregnant. She’d been instructed to sleep with her mistress’s husband and the union had resulted in a pregnancy. But even this did not make her mistress happy.

So, Hagar felt she had no choice but to flee. She was traveling alone in the desert when God reached out to her. He asks where she’s from and where she’s going.

When Hagar explains that she’s run away, God instructs her to return to her mistress. Then He goes on to speak of her unborn child, promising that he will live freely in the land among the rest of his family.

The conversation leads Hagar to this revelation…

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” – Genesis 16:13, NIV

Not every pregnancy is easy or fun. Yours may be difficult due to disease or illness. You may lack the support of a community or be under a heavy load of stress. But just as God saw Hagar, He sees you. He sees your difficult pregnancy and He is watching over you.

God, when I’m tempted to worry or fret, help me to turn to You. When discouragement calls my name, let me remember that I am seen by You, my loving Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.