The crying woke her.
“Shhhhh…hush, little one.” Jochebed picked up her baby and held him to her breast to soothe him. He latched on, gulping greedily, and relaxed against her.
Jechobed glanced at Amram, her husband. She did not want to wake him, as he had only another hour or so before having to rise and prepare for another hard day of work. Although, his loud snores indicated that even a stampede of wild horses likely wouldn’t cause him to stir.
With that thought, Jechobed walked to the window and peered out at the darkness. The full moon provided enough light for her to see the gentle breeze blowing through the trees. Other than that, all was quiet.
But for how long?
She looked down at her son, still busy filling his belly. He was a beautiful little thing. God had great plans for him. She knew it when he was still in her womb and she knew it now.
She trusted God. She really did. But in the early morning hours, like now, when everything was dark and motionless, fear coincided with her faith. She knew they couldn’t keep him hidden here, forever. God had protected them for the past three months, but Jechobed felt He was telling her the time had come to release her son into His hands.
A tear slid down her cheek as she considered the possibility of never seeing her son again. Never again holding him, feeding him, watching him grow into a man. She hugged her son closer, wanting this moment to last forever. If only she could freeze time…
A rustling came from the back corner and Jechobed turned. She smiled at Miriam, who rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
“Mother?” Miriam’s brow creased with concern; her daughter knew her well.
“It’s time, child.”
Sadness folded over Miriam’s face. But she nodded. “I’ll get dressed.”
Jechobed set her now sleeping son down in his bed and busied herself with the final touches on the basket she had prepared for this day. She inspected the bulrush and papyrus as she had many times before to ensure it was water-tight. Then she picked up the soft blanket she had sewn with care and positioned it inside.
Her husband stirred and stumbled out of bed. Jechobed brought him their son. Perhaps because he was a strong man and knew what needed to be done, or maybe because men just did not allow their emotions to pour forth, Amram kissed the child firmly on the forehead and passed him back to his mother.
Miriam reappeared and waited graciously as her mother said her goodbyes. Jechobed’s body racked with silent sobs as she rocked her baby for the last time. Reluctantly, with great sorrow, she gently placed her son in the basket. He looked up at her and cooed, his trusting eyes locking with hers. She quickly handed the basket to her daughter and fled.
She heard the door close as Miriam left to carry out her instructions to put the basket in the reeds of the Nile then stay close by to see what would happen. And Jechobed crumpled in the corner and wept, crying out to God in desperation. God, why? Why must it come to this? Please...if there is any way I can see my baby again, let it be. But not my will, but yours, Lord.
The morning dragged on and it took all of her strength not to go and check on the child, herself. Two hours passed. Then three. Her son must be hungry by now. She could imagine his cries as his tummy begged to be filled again. Perhaps he was soiled and needed to be dried. Oh, how her heart ached!
Another hour came and went. And just when she thought she could bear it no longer, Miriam came rushing through the door, breathing heavily, cheeks flushed.
“Mother. Come quickly! The Pharoah’s daughter appeared with her maids to bathe in the Nile. She came upon the baby in the reeds and was moved with compassion. She has elected to keep the child and raise him as her own. I offered to call a Hebrew woman to nurse the child. Your child, Mother.” Miriam’s laughter bubbled over. “You are able to nurse your own baby for the Princess.”
The tears flowed again, but this time in joy. God had proved His faithfulness once more.
Jechobed grasped her daughter’s hand. “Come! Take me to my child whom God has spared.”
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