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There is no beauty without ashes, no glory without sacrifice
Millions of mothers celebrated and were celebrated in United Kingdom, many received flowers, breakfast in bed, some got poems written specially for them by their children, some got a special lengthy phone call from loved ones, some are more celebrated than others and some got different awards in appreciation of their love, care and the special impartation and handprints in the lives of many but do all these gifts really celebrate real mothers? My recent study on the word of God in the book of Ruth and 1st Samuel homed in some truth about mothers that brought tears to my eyes and makes me more understanding and appreciative of mothers. Mother Ruth was an exceptional and outstanding ‘member of the mothers union’ while on earth. I pondered and wandered why a sane woman would leave her country, her family and her people to join a hopeless widow in her journey back to death resignation. What was her motive? Was she running away from something? Or did she understand what many did not understand? These were questions in my mind several days ruminating over her actions and though the bible did not reveal her background to us as either wealthy or poor, one thing the bible revealed about Ruth was that she was a Moabite woman, ‘a forbidden fruit’ for the Israelite but by marriage became a part of Israelite and so had certain rights to God of the Israelite’s blessings.
I came to the realization that Ruth understood only one thing and it was sacrifice. She understood sacrifice comes before glory and before she could tap fully into the endless blessings of the God of Israel, she had to be part and parcel of the children of God and so she had her eyes on the God of Israel and on the prize thereafter. She knew what to do; she would sacrifice self – herself. She would forget about what she could do and become in Moab, she would go all the way and let Naomi’s God be her God and Naomi’s people her people, what has she got to lose? Yes her husband was dead but there is a new life after death and though she was in agony and heart broken, she decided she would battle it out with the God of Israel if indeed HE was the God they have all heard about; she would sacrifice her time, her energy, she would do whatever her mother in law says, she would face the shame with her mother in law and carry her pain on herself, she would rediscover self on the altar of sacrifice. She told Naomi in Ruth 1, ‘don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and leave wherever you leave. Your people will be my people and your God my God. I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us?’ don’t bother asking me to leave because I am ready to bring my sacrifice of self, I am ready to bring my pain, sorrow, shame, hurt with me and sacrifice it to your God with my attitude of love and kindness, and who knows your God might see this and change the story. Yes Naomi’s God saw Ruth’s sacrifice with the right attitude and worked everything out for Ruth, Ruth became one of the women in the lineage of Christ, and no wonder Christ came to sacrifice himself for our sins through the lineage of Ruth who understood sacrifices.
Mother Hannah was also a mother who understood sacrifice. She was barren because the Lord had closed her womb and for many years she was bitter despite her husbands love, she wanted her own children until she shifted her focus away from self pity, bitterness, anguish and sorrow; she decided to lay her self pity and bitterness, her anguish and sorrow in agony before the altar of sacrifice, little did she know that she was sacrificing what had held her bound for years and while she sacrificed these in prayers, pouring out her heart to the LORD, human eye saw that she was drunk, naked eye saw that she could not sacrifice these things on the altar but the more she sacrificed and agonized on the altar, giving everything that had held her bound for years back to God to take away from her, she learnt more about God whom she later acknowledged as God the rock, she further made more sacrifice of the same thing she wanted most – a child, she offered her sacrifice of praise in form of a child to God and she got what she wanted, in fact she got more than she asked God for.
Sacrifice means Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim. Ruth forfeited self and background and gained a whole new world, a whole new self and a generational landmark. Hannah, a barren woman gave up Samuel – her only heart desire and she became the mother of seven children. When you sacrifice something valuable, you gain something much more, God never forgets a sacrifice of love, kindness to others; HE delights in such sacrifices. Abraham though at God’s request laid up his only son for sacrifice to God and God blessed him for a simple act of faith. There are many people that have sacrificed one thing or the other and have reaped the reward but mothers sacrifice over their children is unquantifiable and a mother who sacrifices for her children reaps the reward of sacrifice when they grow up. When we sacrifice our hurts, bitterness, broken hearts, shame or even our heart desires on the altar to God, we cause God to move in a special miraculous ways for us. I implore all who are going through one thing or the other to take it God in Prayers and see the wonders HE would perform, dare God to move on your behalf with the right attitude and offer a sacrifice that comes to mind this week.
To all mothers, I salute you, in your heart you carry the insults of many like Hannah yet in your hearts resides love, compassion and kindness like Ruth. You give so much yet receive so little, you know what we want and need at any time; you strive for your children and make so much sacrifice. You are patient until the day we grow old enough to cater for ourselves. You are the ears we do not have and eyes we do not have, you passive and foresee, you are the shoulders to cry on. I salute you and wish you all a happy mother’s day!
To my mum, words are not enough for your love and care towards me. I love you!
Have a fulfilled week!
A chosen Generation