Isaiah 66: 12-13b

The Lord says:

Look, I’m extending prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like an overflowing stream. You will nurse and be carried on the hip and bounced upon the knee. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you;

In Pastor Dusty’s sermon this week I have reflected a lot in God, how we see God, and how we see God in other people. The Psalmist writes beautifully how God has this presence near to us, with us, caring for us, and nurturing us in ways we can’t even imagine. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother.

My mother is a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a great listener, and someone who has always been there for me, defended me, advocated for me, and challenged me when I’ve needed it. For the last year and half she has been battling ovarian cancer. Sometimes she has low energy and struggles, other days she has liveliness and gathers us for family dinners. Even now as she struggles with this burden she finds a way to hold a deep faith and nourishes my own faith.

Life as a minister is not easy and as I am just beginning my journey it has been crucial to surround myself with God’s presence for those who will be there for me. My mom is one of those people. The biggest struggle has been this sense of not knowing what will come next and what God is preparing me for. It has been a series of hurdles since beginning my call into ministry.

It has been a series of lost jobs, new jobs, family members passing away, family members with health struggles, the mixed emotions of joy and exhaustion in being a parent, the toll of seminary constantly reading books and writing papers. It is not only exhausting physically and emotionally, but also spiritually. One struggles to find nourishment through these challenging times. My mom has provided nourishment in so many ways. She reminds me of what it means to be faithful and to always live a prayerful life. She provides much needed assurance in God’s closeness and plan for me during difficult times. She reminds me of how God has a claim on my life as a minister and that all things will be done for the good of the Lord. She has even comforted and advocated for me when I needed to vent to someone about church drama (all ministers do this in case that was somehow a secret 😉 ). 

It reminds me of the Psalmist and all the times God is with us and nourishes us in our faith journey. As a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66), as a hen gathers her brood under her wings (Luke 13), Like a bear robbed of her cubs attacking those who would bring harm to her children (Hosea 13), we see God acting out in our lives and acknowledge how miraculous it is that God is with us and the people God brings in our lives. Cherish these people, cherish God as the parent that She is who watches over us and is never far from us in our times of struggle, in our times of celebration, in our times of heartache, in our times of victory, God is always near. God nourishes us in ways we can’t imagine even though it can be difficult to see. As we live into righteousness God leads the way, as we fall short and feel helpless, God’s hand is there providing comfort and assurance. Let us learn from the Psalmist this week acknowledging how God is present in our lives and how we can give thanks for all of the amazing and miraculous things God does for us.

Blessings,

Stephen Eberhard