“How could anyone abandon their baby?” my friend asked. We had just heard another sad account of an infant being discovered in a public restroom. This story, at least, had a happy ending—the baby was okay.
Most of us can’t put ourselves in the shoes of a mother who abandons her baby. Surely, though, a key factor must have been the overwhelming sense of desperation and loneliness she felt. A rush to judgment isn’t helpful here. The mother had wrapped the baby warmly and put her where she would quickly be discovered and have a chance in life.
I’m an adopted child, and I have no idea who gave birth to me. But I have never felt abandoned. As the psalmist wrote, “the LORD will hold [us] close” (Psalm 27:10). I’m certain of that and also of this: I have two moms who wanted me to have a chance in life. One gave life to me, and another invested her life in me. I do wonder, though, how desperate my “birth mom” must have felt when she let me go.
Jochebed was a loving mom trapped in a desperate situation (Exodus 6:20). Pharaoh had ordered the murder of all baby boys born to the Hebrews (Exodus 1:22). Jochebed hid little Moses for as long as she could, but he was starting to cry a little too lustily (Exodus 2:3). So she fashioned a boat out of a basket, placed Moses within it, and floated the makeshift vessel down the river. If the plan was to have the baby rescued by a princess, grow up in Pharaoh’s palace, and eventually deliver his people out of slavery . . . well, it worked to a tee.
Of course all of that wasn’t Jochebed’s plan; it was God’s. But when a desperate mother gave her child a chance, God took it from there. He has a habit of doing that in the most creative ways imaginable.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 2:41–3:11
Read Isaiah 49:13-18 to see the imagery God used to describe His love for His people during a dark and desolate time.
When have you felt lonely and desperate? Are you facing a difficult time right now? Are you able to trust God with it? Why?