It has been a hard year to be a mother. How does a person parent when it feels as though the weight of the world rests upon their shoulders? Jochebed’s example has been an encouragement to me over the last few days in the mental exhaustion that is lockdown.
Who would have faulted her for choosing not to have children in a world where, at the very least, they would grow up to be slaves like all the Israelite children born over the past 400 years?
She had a 50% chance of having a boy. Baby Israelite boys were hunted down and thrown into the river to drown or be eaten by crocodiles.
Perhaps other mothers with a better understanding of the data told her she was selfish for making decisions that would most certainly endanger the life of another human being.
Imagine the stress and exhaustion of trying to keep your baby from crying so as not to have him discovered by the government, or the risk of hiding your 3 month old in a basket among crocodile-infested reeds, all because of a faithful decision that flew in the face of common sense and human reasoning.
What kind of judgement was passed on a mother who involved her own young daughter in a risky plot to regain a few years with her son? It wasn’t Miriam’s fault her mother had another baby.
But God blessed Jochebed’s unreasonable acts of faith and returned Moses to her for a limited time.
It wasn’t uncommon in those days to nurse a child until they were five years old. How would you spend your time if 5 years was all you had with them?
In unprecedented times, and barely a handful of years together, Jochebed and Amram raised the boy who God used to deliver Israelites from bondage to the Egyptians, and who the Holy Spirit inspired to write the first five books of the Old Testament.
Moses’ parents are listed as heroes of faith in Hebrews for not being afraid of the king’s edict. Do you suppose they counted down their hours with Moses by fretting over what was to become of him when he left for Pharaoh’s palace and a life under pagan influence?
Maybe, though I suspect they seized the day, using their time to teach their son about the one, true God – the same God Moses esteemed greater than the treasures of Egypt, choosing to suffer affliction rather than enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:24-26).
When we are bound by rules and restrictions, it can feel as though the days drag on endlessly with no end in sight, but like Jochebed, the days with our children are limited, too. No matter how hostile our environment becomes, God’s Word will not return to Him void, but accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 55:11).
May God graciously give us the strength and desire to mother like Moses’ Mom; to read, memorize, teach, and pray His Word and will over our children; to redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).
Happy Mother’s Day!