A prayer for godly mothers

Saturday, May 7, 2005

"You are God, who took me out of the womb; You made me hope and trust when I was on my mother's breasts. I was cast upon you from my very birth; from my mother's womb you have been my God." (Psalms 22:9,10)

"God raised up for them David as king, to whom also he gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.'" (Acts 13:22)

Nahash watched her son, David, Israel's toughest warrior, struggle for words. Bright-eyed, ruddy, a good-looking man, he was the youngest of her eight sons.

"Mama, we have to leave Israel. We'll start for Gath tomorrow."

"But, son, Gath was the city of the giant Goliath that you killed, and the Philistines are Israel's enemy."

"I'm hoping Gath's King Achish will give us refuge. He knows we've been fugitives from Saul this last year." David's eyes swept the encampment of 600 followers, which included his own family, his brothers and two sisters and their families, and the families of his men.

"Then your father, Jesse, and I will go with you," she assured him.

David looked at her white hair, her bent, frail frame. "Mama, you and Papa aren't able to cross the mountains with us. I'm sending you to Moab, the land of father's grandmother, Ruth. You'll be safe there," he took her trembling hands in his. "I'm sorry I've made our family into renegades. You deserve better than this."

"We're renegades because we remained loyal to you and God." She patted her son's heart. "You're both worth it."

David grinned through tears at the mother who'd nursed her children with milk, love, and the word of Jehovah. She'd danced before God with her babies in her arms, poured out prayers of desperation in the nighttimes of their illnesses, and unceasingly shown them the God of infinite love.

She'd taught: "You're the strong children of Jesse and Nahash, but more important, you're children of almighty God. We are honest, steadfast, dependable. We pay our debts, repent when wrong, and forgive the sins of others. We're Jehovah's family."

David looked down at the wrinkled face so dear to him. "Mama, I won't see you again, but I want you to know how honored I am to be your son. You taught me to trust God so I could fight bears, lions and giants. I will live to be king someday because God has decreed it, and you taught me that he keeps his promises. But more than king, I will always be a godly man of integrity, because of what you taught me."

And then the soldier-son David leaned down and gently kissed his mother.

"Goodbye, Mama. I love you."

"David," she whispered through her tears as she cradled his face in her gnarled hands, "you are precious to me."

"I know, Mama," he said. "All of us always knew we were."

David's mother surely died before he became Israel's king, but the Bible records that he was "a man after God's heart." On this Mother's Day weekend, I'm thankful for godly mothers like Nahash. I'm thankful for my own mother. If I could've just figured out a way to box Mom's love, I know there'd have been enough to fill every empty, hurting person.

Father, I pray that you give mothers to the world's children who will teach and show that you are a God of love. Give them strength of character, courage, hope for tomorrow, and peace that passes human understanding. Pour your love into them, and then pour out of them to bless their children.

June Seabaugh is a member of Christ Church of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau.

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