What the Weariness of Motherhood Taught Me About God

Shiphrah Lakka   |   May 20, 2022 

I love being a mother but there is one aspect of motherhood I dread. Sickness. I am a hopeless phobic when my children get sick. Every little cough or stomach ache makes my heart race. I have this unique ability to conjure up all the awful things that could happen. Irrational, I know. And yet, it happens every time! Every flu season I wait with bated breath, wondering when the dreaded illness will hit our house.

When my child has a fever, I have to take deep breaths and force myself to calm down as I wait for the thermometer to beep.  The nights are especially hard. I worry she will throw up in her sleep or that her fever will spike while I am asleep. Every little while I get up to check her temperature. I keep a wet washcloth near me in case I need to sponge her. Even when the fever is under control I can’t sleep because ‘what if?’. So, I lie in bed staring at the ceiling, praying, and willing myself not to doze off. But sometimes, I do. I doze off. I doze off because I am tired. Because I am human.

And that got me thinking. As a human being, I have been created with limits. I wasn’t designed to be a ‘superwoman’ and I certainly wasn’t made to ‘do it all.’ Lying awake in my bed one night, I realised anew that I am needy and dependent. Because I was created that way. I repeated it to myself. “I am needy and dependent. Everything I do, every breath I take is at the mercy of my Creator.” That night God reminded me that though I had limits, He had none. Though I am tired, He never is. He doesn’t ever sleep or even doze off. I was reminded of the Attributes of God I was working through with my kids. N is for ‘Never-Tiring.’ I had explained it numerous times to them and yet failed to practice this truth in my life.

Motherhood is magical, and yet it is hard. And that is regardless of whether you have a sick child or not. I look back on the long nights and torturous days of the newborn stage and I recall God’s mercy. I may have not felt “fresh” or “new” in the morning after a sleepless night, but His mercies were new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Being bone tired at nights and barely awake in the day, I experienced that Christ was enough. My tiredness compelled me to depend on God, who never tires.

It gave me room to discover that He is an all-sufficient God. Now the newborn stage has passed, and seven years into this motherhood journey I can testify that Christ is still enough. In this season with littles, I often find myself helpless and needing to draw strength from the Lord. On the days I’m battling fear, anxiety, and feelings of defeat, I find that setting my gaze on this 'Never-Tiring' God is a sure-fire way to make certain that my heart is in the right place.

So, what does it mean that God is never-tiring? In the simple terms I explained this to my children, it means that “God never gets tired and never sleeps.” The first verse that comes to my mind is Psalm 121: 3 “He who keeps you will not slumber.” When I memorised this psalm some time ago, I noticed the repeated words “keeper” and “keeps” which prompted me to google around and look to commentaries to understand what it means to be “kept by God.”

The theme of Psalm 121 is that of God as our “keeper”, which comes from the Hebrew word 'shomer’, which means one who protects, preserves, takes care of, and watches over. This word is used over 400 times in the Bible and several times in Psalm 121:

V3. He who keeps you will not slumber.

V4. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

V5. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

V7. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

V8. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

The Lord takes care of His people. He is our “keeper”. In modern terms it means that “He puts a hedge around us.” He surrounds us. Often, we only look at the negative aspects of the word “surrounded.” We say we are surrounded by troubles. Surrounded by difficult people. Surrounded by sickness. We forget the Psalmist’s words, “You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5)

We forget that God is the One who has us surrounded on all sides. He goes before us to light the way. He goes behind us to offer protection. He is on our side. He is our keeper, our protector, our watchman. And that is a major attribute we desire in a watchman, is it not? One who never tires, who never sleeps. And yet it is an attribute that is impossible to find in a human.

A few years ago, the watchman of our building was sacked because on multiple occasions, he was found sleeping on the job. It doesn’t make us feel very safe, does it, to know that the watchman or the person you trust to protect your home is sleeping when he should be “watching over” you? A thief can creep in any time! As humans, it is not possible for us to be vigilant at all times.

But what blessed assurance that our God is vigilant on our behalf! He will never sleep on the job! Nothing and no one can “creep” into my life without His permission. So, when my child is sick and I doze off because I am exhausted, I find comfort that HE is watching over her. When I become weary while juggling the million things on my plate, I am grateful for the strength HE offers me. When I am thirsty, I can drink from HIS well of living water and be satisfied.

And not only us, but this never-tiring God also keeps the universe in place. With all the worries we have, there is one thing we never worry about, and that’s whether the sun is going to come up in the morning or not. It’s a sure thing. Every morning. Without fail. It is the Lord who “changes deep darkness into morning and darkens day into night.” (Amos 5:8) Day and night He is awake, keeping everything in its place.

I once asked my 4-year-old this question. “How does knowing that God never gets tired or sleepy, make you feel?” “It makes me feel snuggly,” she answered excitedly! I love that! Knowing and understanding this attribute of our God makes us feel at peace and comforted; almost like a child in bed snuggled up inside the covers, comfortable, and able to sleep soundly without a care in the world, knowing that His parents are watching over him.

I used to think that worry was my biggest weakness. My limitation. But in a way I’m glad it is, because my limitation makes me “lift my eyes” to the only One without any limitations- the Maker of heaven and earth, who never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:1-4). I rejoice that God never gets tired or weary, because I DO, and even now…I am. But I can rest in the fact that God is my strength when I am weak. I find comfort knowing I can go to Him at any time, night or day, because He never tires nor does He need to rest at any time. We, on the other hand need to rest. We must.

So, let us rest, dear ones, in the One who holds us in the palm of His hands, “the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth who does not faint or grow weary, and whose understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28) This God has the capacity to be our unshakeable refuge, now and forever more.

 

Photo by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash

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Shiphrah Lakka

Shiphrah loves all things chocolate, deep conversations, baking, and getting lost in a good book. She is passionate about encouraging families to learn God's word together. The lockdown has rekindled her love for writing and she documents all that the Lord is teaching her on her blog - boredandbusymama.com. She lives in Thane, India with her husband and two adorable daughters.

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2 comments on “What the Weariness of Motherhood Taught Me About God”

  1. I'm sitting awake in the middle of the night, Ship, sponging down my daughter's feverish forehead, and rereading your article. Thank you for the reminder that we have a God who never tires, and who keeps us and our loved ones, hedging us in on all sides. I needed that reassurance tonight.

  2. True Pris, to have that reassurance in difficult times is a comfort to the soul. So grateful we have a God who is always watching over us. Praying for your sweet girl to feel better soon <3

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