As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.
As I’m writing this, I’m sick. I checked my symptoms on the Mayo Clinic website. It’s not COVID, just a cold. But I’ve been pretty miserable for the last few days. Anytime I’m sick, I remember what it was like when I was younger. There’s no question that being sick as an adult is way worse than being sick as a kid. As an adult, I still have certain responsibilities I have to meet. As a kid, all I had to do was lie on the couch watching The Price Is Right. Plus, I had my mom to take care of me.
As a dad with two young boys, I can tell you who they prefer to go to when they are sick or when they get hurt. They go to mommy. I think most of us did. Mothers are just so much better at giving empathetic comfort to their children than fathers (usually). I’m like, “Are you bleeding? Can you still walk? Just rest it for a minute and go back out. You’ll be fine.” A bandaid given by mom feels more healing than one given by dad.
And this is what God is like to us. Yes, most of the time God is referred to in the masculine (he/him/his) and is called our Father. But in passages like this, God is also our loving Mother. Think about that for a moment and let it break your brain. Men AND Women were created in God’s image. It’s only fitting that God could be considered Fatherly AND Motherly. Even Jesus, when he wept over Jerusalem, wished he could protect them like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Plenty of people have a hard time thinking of God as their Father because they didn’t have a great example of a dad. Maybe he was abusive or absent or controlling. God is also like a Mother, offering love and comfort and tender care for her children.
When you mess up, God is there to lift your chin and tell you it’s ok. When you get hurt, God is there to comfort, soothe, and bring healing. When a relationship goes south, God is there with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s – ok, maybe that one is a stretch. But God knows what it feels like to be betrayed by someone you love.
God loves you. God cares for you. God will comfort you like a mother comforts her children. Rest easy in God’s care.