Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday Moment: Beginning To Live

Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile.” Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe. She saw the basket among the reeds… she opened it and saw the baby … and she felt sorry for him. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby?” “Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother. So the woman took the baby. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
-Exodus 1 and 2 (excerpts)

It grabs me -the story of Moses’ birth. The story of the child among the reeds, placed there as he's just beginning to live.

The biblical account of Moses’ childhood has always fascinated me. As a child, I delighted in imagining a floating basket cradling a crying baby. As a girl, I thrilled with the mention of a sister monitoring baby Moses (what with being the older sister of three brothers myself). And as a teenager, I was intrigued by the irony of the story: how Moses was spared Pharaoh’s death sentence – by Pharaoh’s own daughter, no less – and grew to become the man at the head of the parade during the Hebrew nation’s exodus out of Egypt.

But now, as a young woman, when I read this story, I’m struck with this thought and this thought alone: our God… yours, mine, and even Moses’… is a hope cradler. A dream knower. A heart saver.

I can only imagine what she must have felt, Moses’ mother. I can only imagine her short-lived joy at realizing she was pregnant. Please, please, child, she must have whispered as her baby grew and kicked inside her, please don’t be a boy. What a bittersweet day then, the day she birthed her son. What she must have felt… cried… prayed… as she held her baby. How she must have anguished when, in the dark, she held his small, soft self close and tried to come up with a plan to save him. How terrified she must have been those three months… hurrying to silence his cries and hide him away.

Did she give up then, finally? After 90 long, sleepless, worrisome days, did she make her plan and abandon her hope? The utter heartbreak that woman must have endured as she tucked her son… her precious son… into her basket and released him to the Nile. Did she watch, do you think, as he floated away? When she turned her back on the water’s edge, did she hear his cries? When she closed her eyes, did she see his face? Did she smell his hair? Did she feel his weight against her?

As a piece of her sailed away that day, what did she do with her hope? Her dreams? Her prayers? Did she blame God? Question Him? Believe Him?

I’m yet to be a mother, but I know a little of longing. Of love. Of loss. And I wonder: as we stand at the water’s edge and release pieces of ourselves to a changing tide, does God have a bigger plan for us - just as he had for her?

I think so. I think just maybe He does.

Did you read Moses’ story? The story of his birth? Did you read about how his mother was forced to abandon a piece of herself and walk away, only to have it returned to her by the very one who threatened to destroy it? Did you notice how God… in His infinite loving kindness… not only spared her hopes but saved her son… and therefore her heart? Did you see that… even as her family, her faith, and her feelings floated away… God was watching? And not only was He watching, He was guarding. Sustaining. God's plan included the reeds, but it didn't end there.

I don’t know where your hopes lie. I don’t know if you’re waiting to birth them, trying to hold onto them, or have abandoned them altogether. I don’t know what you’re doing as you wait for your dreams to come in. But this… this I do know: just as you have plans, so does God. Just as you make your next move, so does He. And although you can’t see His purpose, He can see your pain. And as you near the Nile… as you come to the place where dreams die… He’s watching. He's protecting. He's in those reeds. He’s guarding your basket.

I love Moses’ story. But even more, I love that of his mother’s. I read in awe of the depth of God’s compassion during the depths of one person’s heartbreak. I read and I’m strengthened by the realization that sometimes the height of our tragedy is just the first chapter of God's great story. That sometimes, as we kneel at the Nile, we are, in fact, just beginning to live.

16 comments:

betty r said...

That's one of my favorite stories in the Bible, it has touched me in a special way..we have a mentally challenged son and when he was a baby it was suggested that 'we put him away'. Unlike the Bible story we didn't have to do that and didn't. God has been there for us in the reeds, guarding our basket!
His blessings overflow...

Kris H. said...

Once again, God had given you terrific insight. Blessings to you for reminding me(us) of how the Lord is watching over. Thanks!!

Sher said...

I'm always touched when a young person such as yourself boldly speaks out for the Lord. Additionally, I'm passing the "Nice Matters" award onto you. You can refer to my blog if you wish and read about it: http://oldtimemeartist.blogspot.com/

Penless Thoughts said...

Each of us must come to that place. It's always our personal way and unlike any other.
Susan

Sue said...

Bravo!!

Sue said...

It's me again, I awarded you a well deserved award of inspriation, check it out on my Country Pleasures blog. You have earned it in so many ways! Hugs!!

fairmaiden said...

O my goodness Brin...you are such a gifted writer/communicator and your words are so timely...thank you for sharing what you are hearing from God. This is so helpful for me at present. I am a mother of 4. I am a 'Mary'...at His feet continually, choosing the 'one thing' thats needed. My children are precious to me because I know how precious they are to Him. In May my eldest son(16yrs.at the time, now 17yrs.)ran away from home. The separation has been like a tearing away and the LORD has done many things in mine & my families hearts...but what I have held on to is that he(my son) belongs to God. He is HIS, no one elses. And God is jeolous for him. Two weeks ago my son returned, first to God, and now is returning to us. He is moving back home soon. He wants restoration. He says, he lost God completely and wants restored relationship with Him, he can't live without HIM. He is in the bulrushes, with us, keeping us, as His treasured possession.

bellacolle said...

oh, I hope you are having a great vacation! Thank you for posting a beautiful reminder of how God loves us and will sustain us even when it seems there is no hope... Moses' Mother hoped..I know she did! Our God let her nurse him!!!! Full of mercy is HE.
I pray you have a blessed vacation and traveling mercies home! can't wait to hear all about your trip.

Robolady said...

HI, I found your blog via Grinnin Gramma. I read that you are in East Texas, So am I, Tyler to be exact. Where are you??? Loved reading your recent posts, and could so identify with the teeter toter, I always got wacked in the bootie on that one.
I still think Samantha deserved it.

Brigitta said...

thank you for this new insight, and making me look at the story in a different, deeper way. And like Sher I'm also passing on the "nice matters" award to you. You deserve to get it more then once!! ;-)

Alta said...

I saw your blog on a friends blog and I just had to visit. I love the pictures. Wonderful blog!

Penless Thoughts said...

I just named you for an award. Please drop by my blog and check it out.
Susan

Kathleen Grace said...

I was just wondering where the link to your etsy shop is? Have you given it up?

Lallee said...

Brin, this is so beautifully put. It seems I've (spiritually) let my 3 sons go and left them to God's care many times. It's hard. I want to write their stories myself. Can I trust God for a better one? Of course I can, but I still always go through that wrestling match first. Then I see the 'Egyptians' coming and know I can't save them myself and send them off to God.

Thank you for your inspiration. I pray that like the gentle waters in your pictures, your vacation week is blessed with the still and refreshing waters of God's presence.

claire said...

Beautiful, Brin. As the mother of a new baby boy, you had me in tears. God is so good, isn't He? He is faithful to those who are faithful to Him -- and even those who aren't.

marsha said...

Your post today truly was an answer to prayer~
Thank you