Updated: May 29
For many people, Mother's Day is considered a happy event. It is ideally filled with kisses from little kids, gifts from spouses, homemade presents, and "Best Mom Ever" paraphernalia from family members. It is a day associated with heartfelt greeting cards, pretty flowers blooming in the front yard, and butterflies taking flight. On this special day, Mothers all around the United States are celebrated.
Unfortunately, Mother's Day is not always a happy event. For some, Mother's Day brings painful memories to surface. Some individuals may have sorrowfully lost their mom, and are in mourning. Others are heartbroken because they were never able to have children, or perhaps lost a child and are grieving deeply. Some had a bad relationship with their moms. Others may not have children that are speaking to them. Still for others, their kids live far away from them, and they aren't able to see them at all on Mother's Day.
Perhaps you fall in one of these categories, too?
Dear Friend, the Bible says,"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
- Matthew 5:4 (KJV)
This simple verse is so beautiful. It says two things about God's character:
1. God sees.
2. God cares.
Let's go back to Genesis and read an example of God's care for an infamous mother named Hagar.
"The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress."
- Genesis 16:7-11 (NLT)
See, Hagar had gotten into some trouble. On several occasions, she had despised her mistress, Sarai. Because of this, Sarai treated Hagar harshly. Hagar then chose to run away from her mistress, rather than submitting. As she was crying alone in the wilderness, the Lord heard her. He came to her. (In fact, this is the first occurrence of "Angel of the Lord" (YHWH) in Scripture.) He comforted her by giving her some fantastic news - that she was pregnant with a son and would be the mother of a nation! He said that she should return to her mistress and submit. But then, He says something wonderful. He tells Hagar to name her son "God hears," as a constant reminder to her that He hears her during her distress. Isn't that a beautiful story?
After that, Hagar has a special name for God. She calls Him, "El Roi," or, "The God Who Sees Me." She then marvels by saying, "Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]"
- Genesis 16:13 (AMP)
I truly love this story tucked away in Genesis. Hagar often gets a bad rap in the Bible, but the Lord still cared about her. He came to her in her trouble. He was her El Roi.
Friend, God cares about your troubles. He sees whatever hurts you may have. Even though Mother's Day might be hard for you, allow God to be your El Roi during this sad time. Know that you are blessed by God when you mourn. Know that He sees you when you are distressed. Know that He hears you when you cry out to Him. Know that He blesses and comforts those who mourn, and He will comfort you as well.
Please comfort everyone who might be going through something hard today on this Mother's Day. Let them know that You love them and care about them. Fill them with peace. Bless them.
In Jesus's name,