Of all the women in the Bible, I admire the mother of Moses the most. Jochebed's unselfishness and desire to ensure her son's safety and life by giving him up was an incredible sacrifice.
Some mothers know the agony of having to give up custody of their children, wether forced or voluntarily. Even though this is often done with a child's best interest in mind, society doesn't always see it that way, and these mothers feel the sting of judgement.
But Jochebed got to be a part of her son's life even though she gave him up. One minute she was pregnant, and the next, she was hiding her little baby to save him from Pharoah.
It had to be the hardest thing she ever did, and people may have gossiped about her and wondered how her child disappeared. She knew that floating her son down the river was dangerous. But in God's plan, Pharaoh's daughter found this baby, and Moses' mother was commissioned to nurse the child and take care of him.
Jochebed didn't get accolades for raising Moses, and she probably had to endure many heartaches--all the while wondering if this child would grow up to honor God or Pharoah. But Jochebed was still a valuable part of Moses' life, even without full custody.
Like most parents, she would not know the fruit of her influence until Moses became an adult. Moses' mother served quietly, praying and hoping, until her people were delivered from bondage by her son's leadership.
I can relate to Jochebed. At a time when I couldn't understand why bad things happen, I read this story. And although I had read it many times before, it didn't affect me until my own life paralleled it.
I am a non-custodial parent in a joint custody situation, and I've had to deal with gossip and prejudice from even well-meaning Christians, friends and family. But I have never given up, never stopped loving and caring. Today, my son and I have a close relationship.
No, I don't get praise for raising him. All my work is done behind the scenes where no one sees, and my prayers and tears seem to go unnoticed. But God has given me hope that something wonderful will happen as my son becomes an adult.
I have spoken with many single parents, including non-custodial parents, who feel that no matter what they do or don't do, they face criticism from others. Yet these parents and their children need support--others who will uplift, protect and guide them through the challenges of parenting alone.
I know all I've endured is not in vain. I have learned that even though God doesn't always rescue us from difficult situations, He heals us and enables us so that we can help others.
God has special plans for us single parents and our children. Pray, trust God, be faithful and show them God's way. Who knows? You might be helping to prepare a Moses for our day.
(Focus on the Family/Single Parent Family Edition, November 2002/Kimberly K. Ousley)