He was a goodly child—her baby boy. She saw that. And she knew what she had to do.
And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river,
and every daughter ye shall save alive. Exodus 1:22
She placed her hand deep into the slime and pitch coating the basket—making it secure—so the water wouldn’t get in. And with each movement of her hand, tears fell. She was slowly letting go—in full surrender.
And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. Exodus 2:2-3.
The priest saw Hannah in the temple and accused her of being drunk with wine, but no container of strong drink would have held the likes of Hannah’s sorrow. She had no need to pour from a bottle when she could pour out from her soul to the only One who knew the desires of her heart.
And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:15.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall be no razor come upon his head. 1 Samuel 1:10-11.
Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord. 1 Samuel 1: 20.
For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27.
Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 1 Samuel 2:19
And there was Timothy—Paul saw Jesus in him—his gift. He saw the gospel instilled in him by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother Lois. The giving of time spent in prayer and what they saw the most important to share with their son, their grandson—it was evident in Timothy’s walk of faith.
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy other Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 2 Timothy 1:5.
There is suffering, worries, heartbreak, and sacrifices that comes with motherhood—just ask any woman who has labored giving birth or one who has spent hours upon hours of completing adoption forms and then waiting anxiously for the call. Or to the Mama who has laid awake countless hours watching for headlights to come through her bedroom window late at night, or living through the thundering sound of the bedroom door slamming in anger, or the rolling of eyes from six-year-old going on fourteen.
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. But....
Mamas, listen up. Not one of us is perfect—God knew that when He laid that gift in our arms—whether that child grew in our wombs or in our hearts. And along with the joys of motherhood, there are always choices to make for our children. Always, and if we were perfect, there would be no need of God’s guidance in their lives.
And there’s this imagining of the “rest of the story”—about Jochebed, Moses’ mother. Samuel’s mother, Hannah. Lois, Timothy’s grandmother and his mother Eunice. The Bible doesn’t go into detail, but we can only wonder.
Miriam, Moses' older sister running back home, carrying baby Moses in her arms. ‘Mama, Mama! Moses is safe! The princess wants you to take care of him.’ And Jochebed drops to her knees in thanksgiving for another day with her baby boy.
Hannah could hardly keep her fingers still as she sewed each tiny stitch on her son’s new coat. Tomorrow was the day she and Elkanah would leave to make the yearly journey to the temple to offer their sacrifice and visit Samuel. And Hannah, with her belly large expecting her second child.
She runs to Samuel and cuddles him--tells him he’s going to be a big brother. And the next time she comes to visit, she’ll bring his new baby sister or baby brother. And just before she says another good-bye, she kisses him gently and says, ‘I love you son, and I’ll be back soon. Serve God with all your heart.’
Sitting by the candlelight each evening, Timothy climbing into his grandmother Lois' lap and she would sing about God’s love for him. And just before tucking him into bed, his mama, Eunice would hear his sweet, muffled sleep voice say, ‘One more story, Mama. Tell me again about all the animals in the ark and the rainbow. How God loved Noah and loves me and you and Grandma.’
As an infant Moses didn’t have a choice when his Mama placed him in the basket and laid him by the river’s edge, but his Mama did. As a toddler Samuel didn’t have a choice when his Mama walked with him into the temple at an early age and walked away, but his Mama did. As a child, Timothy didn’t have a choice of whether he would hear and be taught about the love of God, but his Mama and Grandmother did.
God may not ask us to put our son or daughter in a basket and float them down the river or lead our child by the hand into a temple and turn our backs and leave—give the child up at such an early age for His service, or even raise a son or daughter to go into the missionary field in another land.
But the question is this—are we willing?
Are we willing to dedicate our children to Him? Are we willing to pray for our children? Are we willing to pray that God will use them in such a way that others are touched by the lives they live—for His glory? Are we willing to trust God’s plans for our children? Are we willing to take our children to church, teach them about the love of Jesus in our homes, encourage them to serve the Lord all the days of their lives, trust in Him, keep the faith, to love others?
God didn’t demand Jochebed to place Moses in the basket, nor did God tell Hannah the only way He would give her a son was she had to give him back to His service. And God didn’t force Lois or Eunice to teach Timothy about His stories, His love--the hope found in only Him.
And where would we be today without Moses’ story, Samuel’s story, Timothy’s story in God's story. Their faith stories started young—as infants, toddlers, young boys--all because of a woman’s choice to trust her children’s unknown future in the hands of her known God.
Psalm 103:17, But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children.
All scriptures are from the KJV