Now a man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son; when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with asphalt and pitch. She placed the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. Then his sister stood at a distance in order to see what would happen to him.
Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe at the Nile while her servant girls walked along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds, sent her slave girl, took it, opened it, and saw him, the child — and there he was, a little boy, crying. She felt sorry for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a Hebrew woman who is nursing to nurse the boy for you?”
“Go,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. So the girl went and called the boy’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
Jochebed, Moses’ mother, was a woman of great bravery. Her worst nightmare had come true. Her baby boy’s life was in danger, and she could no longer hide him. So, she enacted a plan to save her son’s life. Without knowing if it would work, Jochebed placed her son, Moses, in a basket in the river, and God rewarded her bravery. He allowed Pharaoh’s daughter to find the basket with baby Moses inside, who then asked Jochebed to care for him until he was old enough to live in the palace.
If this mother had let fear control her actions, she would have missed out on a miracle. Because Jochebed chose to be brave, she got to watch God care for Moses and Jochebed’s entire family, protecting them and bringing about His purposes.
Jochebed’s obedience and bravery also created a whole new family, allowing Pharaoh’s daughter to become an adoptive mother. Pharaoh’s daughter showed great bravery as well, as she boldly defied her father’s orders to kill all infant boys. Instead, she took Moses in as her own.
All families — even the ones in the Bible — are messy, and each mother has a unique story regarding how her children came to be hers. Jochebed, Moses, and Pharaoh’s daughter are no exception; rather, they’re an example of grace, bravery, and love that breaks the mold.
The day I delivered our first baby girl was filled with joy and grief for my husband and me. We were in complete bliss as I picked out which outfit she would wear for her pictures with her big brother. As the nurses wheeled her out, I remember turning the television on to pass the time until my baby was back in my arms. The words “BREAKING NEWS” caught my attention.
A shooting had taken place in an elementary school, and the station was broadcasting live footage of parents waiting for news of their children. It suddenly felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. There I was in a hospital bed waiting for the life I brought into this world, as these parents waited for the worst.
I remember crying for those parents and those innocent children. When my baby was placed in my arms, I held her a little tighter. The headlines can sometimes shake us to the core of our souls, and fear can consume us if we let it. I think of Moses’ mother, Jochebed, and how scared she must have been when she learned that her baby was a boy. She lived in a corrupt time when all baby boys were thrown into the river.
And yet, instead of letting fear control her, she kept her son with love in her heart and strength in her soul. When she could no longer hide him, she did the hardest thing she’d ever have to do. She coated a basket with asphalt and pitch and placed her baby boy in it. Then she placed him in the reeds among the Nile.
When I used to think of the word brave, I imagined someone fighting off lions and bears. But it also looks a lot like a mother trusting in God and gently placing her child into the waters of the unknown. The most beautiful part of the story is that God is faithful in all He does, and He returned Moses to Jochebed for a season, before Moses made his way to the palace under the care of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Since the birth of my first daughter and the day of that horrendous news, we’ve welcomed three more children into this world. As parents in this day and age, we may not be called to release our children into the river in baskets, but we are called to release them to God. Each time we do, we find that His provision is always better than we could ever imagine.
Fear still creeps in some days. But in spite of fearing the unknown waters, I want to love relentlessly, fervently trusting in God with faith like Jochebed. I want to live a life of faith, and most of all, I want to live life with a different kind of brave.
Writings by Denise Hughes and Jasmine Martin, as featured in A Mother’s Love.
Above is an excerpt from our book, A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom, which is full of reflections on God’s heart. Featuring unique and diverse stories from the (in)courage community, A Mother’s Love offers heartfelt encouragement to all kinds of moms, whether they’re a mother in a traditional sense, a spiritual mother, or a mother-like figure who breaks the mold.
This book is sure to help any woman share a meaningful gift with someone who has been impactful in her life, a new mom learning the ropes, or a close loved one facing the joys and challenges of any stage and type of motherhood. Compiled with all women in mind so we can celebrate those who made us, shaped us, helped us grow, and loved us well, A Mother’s Love is a beautiful gift for the moms in your life.Leave a Comment