I'm reading this book right now and this page really spoke to me. I often for get that my children (living in my house now and children to come) are all gifts from God. They were only sent to me for a short while but they belong to God. This book was written in 1982 (before I was born) but it is very much up to date. God's word is never old.
This is an excerpt from the book A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming.
"Before I was pregnant with Matthew, I studied the lives of biblical women who had waited for a child. These women were Sarah, the mother of Isaac; Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Rebekah, the mother of Jacob; Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist; and Samson's mother. From my study, I gained a conviction that every child comes from God and ought to live for God's purposes.
Each of these women were initially barren. They waited and waited to conceive a child. Since failure to conceived a child was often considered a curse, they experienced torment and ridicule. All of them endured a painful wait. Two of them- Sarah and Elizabeth- reached old age before conceiving.
Was it really necessary for these women to experience the agony of a long wait? Yes, there was a purpose.
God had something special in mind. He wanted to give each of these mothers a special child-a child with a specific purpose-and He wanted to receive the glory. Everyone must know that God did it. The awe and wonder of conception is often lost on us especially since almost anyone can conceive- rich or poor, educated or uneducated, godly or ungodly. We can easily forget the part God plays in every birth.
But God did something special for each of these barren women. Their pregnancies bore the obvious sign of his intervention. They fully realized that God did it.
Unless a sense of wonder accompanies parenthood, we may either take our responsibility too lightly or else cling too tightly to our chilren. God knows that withholding children often produces a different mentality in a waiting mother or father to be.
I wonder if Abraham could have laid his son, Isaac, on the altar if the long wait had not prepared his heart. Would Hannah have given her beloved young son, Samuel, to God's service if he had come much earlier? Did the wait produce a conviction that Samuel came from God and should live for God's purposes, a conviction that she otherwise might now have experienced?
Perhaps another reason God allowed these mothers to endure a long wait was to lay a groundwork of prayer. They knew that these children were children of purpose and promise, and undoubtedly, each of them was much prayed for.
I, too, wanted the convictions of a mother who had waited on God, even though my wait was comparatively short. I prayed, "God, please give me the sense that these women had that this child will be from you and for you."