Friday, August 10, 2007
Right now I am reading through a devotional book entitled True Beauty: The Inside Story by Andrea Stephens. The book outlines key character traits for a life that is beautiful from the inside-out. This past week I have been reading about love. Well, I appreciated today's devotional so much that I am going to share some of it with you. For the whole scoop, check out Andrea's book at andreastephens.com.
It was a dark day in the lives of God's people. The King of Egypt had just issued a proclamation that horrified every Hebrew mother! All male babies were to be killed at birth (see Exodus 1-2). How awful! The Hebrew people worked as slaves in Egypt under the reign of Pharaoh, who noticed that no matter how hard he made them work, their population was increasing. He feared a potential takeover, so, to put a stop to their growing numbers, he ordered that all males born to the Hebrew women were to be thrown into the river to drown or become dinner for the hungry crocodiles! Upon hearting the news of the Pharaoh's monstrous ruling, fear gripped the heart of Jochebed. She was pregnant! And she suspected the child growing within her was a boy. A few months later her suspicions were confirmed! She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Jochebed instantly knew that this child was different, that God had a special mission for him. Her fear turned to faith! She couldn't let her baby be killed. As she snuggled her newborn close to her, she called out to Jehovah to help hide her precious little one, her little one named Moses. When Moses was three months old, his mother knew she couldn't hide him much longer. Jochebed trusted God to show her how to keep this child alive, this child whom she deeply loved, this child whom God would use to deliver his people from the king of Egypt. Early one morning,a plan was birthed in her heart! She gathered papyrus reeds and wove them into a basket. One morning, she fed little Moses, wrapped him in his favorite blanket, kissed his forehead, and set him in the basket. Her heart pounded as she headed toward the river where she gently laid the basket among the reeds on the water's edge--safe from the crocodiles, safe from the Nile's strong currents, safe from the heat of the sun. Jochebed whispered a prayer of protection over her beloved son. Then she enlisted Miriam to stand guard, to see what would become of little Moses. As God would have it, Pharaoh's daughter and her maids discovered Moses when they came to the river to bathe. The Pharaoh's daughter knew he was a Hebrew baby, but his bright eyes and chubby cheeks melted her heart, and she took the baby as her own. Relief filled the heart of Jochebed. Her baby would live! Tears fell from her eyes. She would miss her little one, yet she was grateful to the Jehovah for sparing his life.
What a courageous act! When Jochebed gave up Moses, whom she deeply loved, it was an incredible demonstration of the beautiful quality of love. Sometimes love demands such acts of selflessness. Sometimes love asks us to put others first and give up something we want. Yet, when we do, we allow love to blossom in our hearts. How beautiful!
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
~1 Corinthians 13:4-7