Healing touch from Jesus
Anna Jarvis, who started the first Mother`s Day celebration in 1908 to commemorate her mother who had recently passed away, encouraged government leaders to honor mothers who then established Mother's Day as a national holiday in 1914 in United States. Mother's Day allows us to champion and cherish all women. We thank them for their work in the church, in their homes and in society. If you have a mom today, think of something special you can say thank you for and tell her that you love her.
We see many moms that are being very self sacrificing, heroic godly women. Women whose focus is being a wife and mother that loves, cares and supports her husband and children. It doesn't come by accident. They give when it seems there is nothing left to give. They rise up in the middle of the night to care for sick children and are back up to get the rest of the family out the door for work and school. Whether it is laundry, cooking, driving kids to activities, helping at church, teaching manners and godly principles, they are tops. Moms (and Dads) are to teach their children the Bible and to obey it carefully by example.
Today is a day when we honour our mothers. If you are here today, you have a mother. We are grateful for the sacrifices and challenges which our mother experienced with our coming into this world. We are grateful for the advances in the last 100 years which has made childbirth safer with a much lower mortality rate.
My grandmother on my dad`s side, Amalia Wekkesser, was born April 23, 1896 in Ukraine, to a German Lutheran family. She lost her mother at an early age. When her father remarried, the step mother wanted nothing to do with little Amalia and her 2 year old sister, so the children were both given up for adoption to different families.
A young teenager daughter of Jacob Wekkesser, a wealthy industrialist, wanted to adopt Amalia so her father agreed if she would support the child with her personal allowance. Grandma went to school and also learned to play the guitar. She became a seamstress and then before her marriage was given responsibility to oversee other seamstresses. Amalia's sister died when my dad was born (October 1, 1918). Amalia was not able to go to her sister's funeral because she had just given birth and was bed-bound at that time. The joy and pain of life.
We take for granted the good life we have today but many here know the difficulties that they and their ancestors faced coming to this country. We have transitioned from horse drawn buggies to cars and trucks, washing clothes by hand to throwing our clothes in the wash machine and dryer, indoor plumbing, heating and air conditioning, dishwashers, . In many respects life for women has become easier but there are still many difficulties mothers face.
One area that is still a struggle for us is what life experiences we had when we were younger. As I shared my grandmother experienced rejection as her dad's new wife refused to care for her. Many of you have probably experienced some kind of rejection. As a result of that rejection my grandmother was able to grow up in the home of a very wealthy family but I am sure that her pain of rejection by her father followed her all her life but I never heard about it until long after she had passed away.
Abraham was faced with drought when he moved down to Canaan so he travelled to Egypt where he passed his wife off as his sister to save his skin. (Genesis 12) He obviously at that point in his life had a low view of the protection of God. The Pharaoh gave Abram sheep, donkey, men servants and women servants after he had taken Sarai into his court. After God brought a sickness and bareness on the Pharaoh's family, they found out the truth and banished Abram from Egypt. In Genesis 16 we see that Sarah had an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Because Sarah was barren and God had promised Abraham to become a great nation Sarah suggested that Hagar become a surrogate mother to her child. We see that when Hagar became pregnant the dynamics of the family changed; Hagar despised Sarah and Sarah became abusive. Hagar fled and an angel met up with her and told here to call Abraham's son Ishmael which means "God Hears". The angel also instructed her to go back to Sarai and submit to her. Hagar called God "El Roi" the God who sees.
God sees people in distress and comes to them to bring healing. Is there a problem that you are facing today? Jesus is with you. He sees you and hears you when you cry out to Him. He will bring healing to your heart and soul. He will heal relationships and sorrows. He comforts and strengthens when there is abuse if we go to Him and ask for healing.
Hannah, Samuel's mom, had some real struggles. Let's read her story in I Samuel 1:1 - 20.
What was Hannah's pain? This was the same pain that Sarai faced as well. How did Hannah handle it? She cried out to God. Her anguish was so great that she couldn't even speak.
I am reminded of the verse in Romans 8:26, 27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. So God is listening to us and hearing our heart's cry.
What was God's response to Hannah? God heard her. Just like He heard Hagar, He heard and answered Hannah's cry. God saw their pain and He came and answered their cry. I don't know what your pain is or what your cry is to God but He hears you.
We also notice that although the time span for Hannah's story seems short we don't have the whole background. It is very possible that because Hannah could not bear children for Elkanah he ended up marrying a second wife. What increased her pain even more, although Elkanah said that he loved her dearly, his second wife provoked her because she had sons and daughters. This problem went on year after year. (V. 7) The point this addresses that although God hears us He doesn't always anser immediately. Don't give up your dream, your concerns or crying out to God in your pain. Because the answer does not come immediately, does not mean that God doesn't hear your prayer. Do you think that she would have dedicated Samuel to God if she had not a problem conceiving? Probably not. God was working in her heart to give up her child to serve the nation of Israel and become a great prophet who later anointed Saul and David among other great things which God did through him.
Jesus understands all our secret pains. Perhaps you experienced some kind of abuse or ridicule that you faced in your younger years. Perhaps you were unjustly punished and hurt. Maybe you have trouble getting over the loss of a loved one, someone who was significant in our life and is now gone for whatever reason. God knows your heart's cry. Persist and keep crying out to God.
People often get healing in community. Find someone who can help share your pain and struggles. Don't keep the pain a secret. That is what Satan wants so that he can torment our soul and cause us to despair and get depressed.
The worst thing that you can do is keep your pain a secret. That is what Satan wants because he does not want you to be free and for you to be able to help others. As long as you carry secrets you will struggle with relationships. If one person does not understand then be bold enough to search out someone who can counsel you and help you become free. God wants you to have a victorious freedom. God never wants us tied up in knots by Satan.
We all need people who care around us but when we focus just on our own needs we will not develop great relationships because of our selfish spirit. We have all had relationships with people who drain us. Some of these people are the most needy and require a lot of love but when God breaks through there is a new joy and freedom which brings God glory.
Our mothers are precious. Let`s honour them, encourage them and let them know that we love them. The best thing we can do is to give them some time to spend with Jesus. If our mothers spend time with Jesus, their spirit will be renewed, their hearts will be filled with joy and she will do the things that bring honour to God.
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EMC Leamington May 12, 2019