It must have been in one of the special Sunday cartoon strips that I saw it—because otherwise Bil Keane’s Family Circus cartoons were always in circles. I remember three frames. The first showed Billy (Jeffy?) in tears, running to find his mother. The second frame shows the same boy encountering his dad—tears were gone—“Oh! Hi, Dad.” The third frame, with Dad gone, shows the same son back in tears continuing in his search to find Mom.
It’s true, isn’t it? There is no one else like Mom! No one else’s kiss can dispel those tears more quickly; no one else’s smile and hug can take away a problem’s sting better; no one else can put on that Band-Aid like she can; no one else can give comfort like Mom can.
What beautiful imagery for the Lord to use through the prophet Isaiah in 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”
There was no one who needed such motherly comfort more at that time than did God’s own people! For after the Babylonians came to Jerusalem those three times, there was not much left of the once-glorious capital city of Jerusalem, nor of the people who once inhabited her. They were taken off into a foreign land, to spend seventy years in captivity as a result of their constantly turning their backs on God to worship heathen idols.
And once those who were taken into captivity realized that this was not just a fluke, not just a brief, temporary stay away from home, their pride and arrogance would turn overnight into grief and despair.
It was then, God knew, that His people would need His comfort more than anything else. This is why He caused Isaiah’s words to be recorded long before the captivity even took place. It is also why the second half of the prophet/priest Ezekiel’s book was written.
God’s people needed comfort! And there was none better to give the comfort they needed than God Himself. No one can comfort the brokenhearted as God can!
How often we have found comfort in reading the pages of Scripture! We find comfort in the Good Shepherd watching over His sheep (Psalm 23, John 10), comfort in being given peace which the world cannot give (John 14:27), comfort in being told that it is “. . . by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
Mom is wonderful, yes—but human. Her love for her children runs deep—but she cannot always be there.
God can—and is! The comfort that He gives to His own flows from His forgiving heart. “Comfort My people . . . her iniquity is pardoned” (Isaiah 40:1-2). The comfort that God gives isn’t limited to the application of Band-Aids to bruises and hurt feelings; it goes to the heart and heals. His comfort takes the sins that are there and casts them “. . . into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
And since we know the depths of God’s love, the eternal lengths of His grace, the omnipresence of His aid, we can go to Him with everything. We can cast ALL our cares upon Him, for He cares for us! (see 1 Peter 5:7).
This Mother’s Day, we give thanks for our Christian mothers and the multitude of ways we have been blessed by them. Let us also thank God for honoring the comfort our mothers give us by using it as a picture of His own comfort for us in Christ!
Paul Krause is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Markesan, Wisconsin.