An Open Doors field worker from Africa says this coming Mother’s Day she will not only be thanking God for her own mother and praying for her, but will be thinking about and praying for the more than 200 mothers of the Chibok girls whose anguish over the fate of their missing children continues today.
Mother’s Day was started by Anna Jarvis in the early 1900s to honor her own mother’s work as a peace activist and to honor mothers – “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Anna’s intention for the special day was for people to appreciate and honor mothers by writing a personal letter, by hand, expressing love and gratitude. Today Mother’s Day has become an opportunity to honor our own mothers and to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.
On Mother’s Day I will be thanking my own mother for her sacrificial love towards me. I will also be thanking her for always being in my corner. She always sees the good in me (even at times I know it takes some hard looking), always forgives me when I have sinned against her, always embraces my wild ideas and always cheers me on. There is no one like my mother and I love and appreciate her deeply.
But as I thank the Lord for my own mother and pray that He will bless her and keep providing for her in all her spiritual and physical needs, I cannot help thinking of the more than 200 mothers of the Chibok girls who remain missing more than a year since their abduction on April 2014.
The government has rescued hundreds of women and children from an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria camps in the Sambisa Forest, and for that we praise the Lord. But there has been no sign of the Chibok girls, and it is their mothers that I will also be thinking about on Sunday.
For me to imagine what these mothers are going through is impossible. I do not know the anguish they are experiencing: the sleepless nights, the constant stress, the unceasing see-saw between hope and despair, the desire to want know what has become of their daughters.
Although I cannot fathom what they have been through, there is One that knows the depths of their suffering. Jesus is not unfamiliar with their pain. He has walked the dusty roads of this Earth and willingly submitted Himself to evil men and their evil systems. He, too, had a Parent in God the Father who lost His Child – his only Beloved – in order to set me free.
The counsels of God are far above the wisdom of human beings. I don’t know what His purposes are for the Chibok girls and their parents. But He promised to not let our pain and anguish be fruitless and futile. Holding on to that promise, my prayer this Mother’s Day is that He will visit these mothers and minister to them. My prayer for them is peace that surpasses all of their understanding and all of my understanding. I pray for supernatural peace that will enable them to say, “I don’t understand. But I trust.”
O Lord, how we need You to give us peace. We need You to still the storms in our hearts! Still the storms Lord! Give our sisters in Nigeria the peace you have promised. And if it is Your will, bring them back to their mothers.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.