REWARD!?

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The words of my mother that still ring in my ears are, “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all!” So today’s blog is about finding some encouragement for me because I’m sad and discouraged. If you were speaking to me face to face generally I’m humorously sarcastic. So far my blogs have not really expressed that side of my personality. Maybe by talking about Samson, I will lift my spirit and even be able to convey a moral in this story.
In the book of Judges, chapter 13, after the Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife, she becomes pregnant with Samson. She is instructed not to drink alcohol or eat any forbidden food because her child will be dedicated to the Lord and will begin an important work. Not only does the Lord appear to her once but He returns to her after Manoah prays for Him to reappear. Showing Himself the second time, she runs to fetch her husband. Why didn’t the Lord appear to Manoah personally? After all, he has a name. And why is her name unimportant? She is forever known as Manoah’s wife and Samson’s mother. To this, I can relate. As I go about my daily activities, I run across many children who emphatically express their happiness in seeing me by yelling, “Hi Kaleb’s mom or Terran’s mom or Sasha’s mom.” Often my eldest son’s friends walk in our home and declare, “Hey Mom, is Dean home?” What an honor!
Before having any children, often couples have grandiose plans of having many children. Well, at least we did. When we got to four, I started questioning my mothering skills. I did not think I was equipped. It’s only the really brave that go through with those plans. The typical status quo of 2 children thinks parents of large families are crazy and I’ve even heard “irresponsible” because some think they become a burden on society. Nothing could be further from the truth. I met a lady who had twelve children. She has one husband and all twelve children are his and God provides for them all without the help of social services. In my opinion, families like hers add much value to any community. She is a strong amazing woman and she is my hero. She has a name but I did not get her permission to publish it.
It’s interesting to me that God includes so many stories about women that are barren, in the bible. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, also mother of many nations was once infertile. Elkanah’s wife, Hannah’s womb was closed before God gave her the desire of her heart, which was Samuel. When God wanted to punish a people he would shut the wombs of their women. Is it because being able to birth and raise children is the best gift a couple can be granted? God says that children are a reward from the Lord. A reward? Yes, a reward!

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