On this Mother's Day 2017, it is appropriate that we look at the purpose for mothers in the eyes of God. After all, all things, including we humans, that He created are designed to fulfill a specific mission in His grand plan for the world. We don't always individually live up to that purpose, but it is there for us nonetheless and no function is more important than the role assigned to mothers.
The scripture above talks about Abraham's wife, Sarah, an elderly woman who was barren and she felt she had failed her husband by not being able to give him a son. She decided that the slave girl, Hagar, would be an excellent surrogate and she convinced Abraham to go to her since she was fertile. But after the baby, Ishmael, was born, God blessed Sarah with her own son, Isaac, and now Abraham had a great dilemma to face. His first born, Ishmael, was illegitimate, and now Hagar looked at Sarah with contempt. After some time, Sarah demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be banished to the wilderness for she did not want Ishmael to share in his father's blessings, and when Abraham, who loved Ishmael and spent time with him routinely, questioned Sarah's intentions, God told him that Isaac would be the one to carry on the mission.
But God also blessed Hagar and her son Ishmael when they departed into the lonely and dangerous desert, for no harm came to them and God told her that Ishmael would be the father of another great people that would also be fruitful and multiply. And thus the two half-brothers, Isaac and Ishmael, would lead two groups of Semitic people in differing directions, Arab and Jew, in many ways so close but in others so far apart.
And what does the story have to do with the responsibilities of motherhood. Well, it's really quite simple. For both Sarah and Hagar, mothers of boys from the same father, did all they could to insure that their sons inherited what was rightfully due according to the law of those times. Their primary concern was the well-being and happiness of the children, and they would do anything to achieve a most positive end. And isn't it interesting how God responded? He listened to the mothers and while following His pre-ordained plan, made sure that both Hagar and Ishmael were well taken care of and safe.
Mothers today who believe in His power and grace can insure the same thing by living as he directs and following His law. God will never fail and as we see from this story, and of course the story of Jesus and his earthly mother Mary, those who live up to those expectations will be truly blessed.
Happy Mothers Day and may this day be filled with joy, love and peace. Mothers are a special blessing to all who have been born on this earth. Honor them on this day.