Today we have a special feature written by Pastor Philip Hoppe. After reading it on his own blog, I asked my husband to touch base with him and see if we could borrow it. I hope you find these words as enriching as I did.
The Historic Litany (a form of which appears in Lutheran Service Book on page 288) bids us to pray for many things which is one of its many strengths. We pray this litany as the end of a pastor’s study group I host. Every time I am struck by one particular thing we are bid to pray.
“To grant all women with child, and all mothers with infant children, increasing happiness in their blessings.”
It always strikes me as a strikingly honest bidding, one only a mother or dedicated father could craft. They are words that weave together two truths. First, children are a blessing given our gracious God. Secondly, they are not always easily recognizable as such, especially to mothers who spend all their days and much of their nights caring for their endless needs.
I work in our home. When I do premarital counseling, I talk about how a married couple should view the prospect of children according to the scriptures. And before doing so I often joke that right as I utter the phrase “children are a blessing,” it is likely that one of my kids will crash through my office door screaming and yelling.
Children are a key place where one learns that the blessings of God do not always yield immediate happiness. In fact, some of the blessings of God are precisely that not because they bring immediate happiness but rather because they teach us to preserve through trial.
That being said, it my prayer for my wife and for all mothers that the blessings of children would increasingly bring them happiness. I pray that in the midst of all of the hard and thankless work mothers engage in that they would have happiness. I pray that as they deal with all matter of sin and disobedience, they would still have happiness. I pray that that happiness would increase all the time.
Mothering is a job that can lead to much sadness, despair, and depression. Deliver our mothers from such evil, O Lord.
I bid you to pray, “To grant all women with child, and all mothers with infant children, increasing happiness in their blessings and to have mercy on us all.” We pray, “We implore You to hear us, good Lord. Amen.”