By Marie K. MacPherson
Editor’s note. This first appeared at Lutherans for Life and is reposted with permission.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret … Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13–16 NKJV).
How easy it is to get caught up in our daily frustrations with our children! As imperfect mothers, we wonder why our son just can’t “get it” or why our daughter always acts “like that.” We sometimes get stuck in our perceptions, whether or not they are grounded in reality. Sure, our children are sinners with shortcomings and failings (just like mom), but they are also fearfully and wonderfully made (just like mom)!
Remember the moment you found yourself pregnant with that frustrating child? Whether that instant was filled with joy or fear, it was humbling. To know that God is using a simple, sinful vessel—namely, you—to knit together new life is astounding! The child is totally dependent on you, and yet you have no control over the outcome of the pregnancy! Job 34:14b-15 puts it well:
“If [God] should gather to Himself … His breath, All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust.”
Both before and after their births, our children are precious lives belonging to God and redeemed by Him. (Their mothers are, too.) Each of our days is ordained by Him, including the challenging days of motherhood. (For further reading see Psalm 139 and Job 10:8–12.)
Praise to the Lord,
Who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed
And, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief
Ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.
(Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary 65:3)
Marie K. MacPherson is author of “Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood ”(from which this devotion is excerpted), “The Story of Baby Shalom,” and editor of “Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More.” Follow her blog at intoyourhandsllc.com/blog.