I think it’s beyond question that the greatest joys and deepest sorrows on earth reside in the hearts of mothers.
Looking for baby boys’ names? Genesis 25 could provide some helpful research! How about Zimran, Jokshan, Ishbak, or Shuah? No? Well, there’s always Nebajoth, Adbeel, and Mishma. At least the folks four thousand years ago liked them. Yet in the midst of a flurry of baby announcements, there’s a painful exception. Verse 19 begins: “This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac.” There the genealogy is interrupted. In fact, Isaac doesn’t have a genealogy at this point. Why? The story continues: “Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife…. Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren” (vv 20-21). As a result of the sin of our first parents, child-bearing would be fraught with multiplied sorrow (Gen 3:16). Barrenness, miscarriages, children born with huge challenges—our little tribe has seen them, and many families experience these agonies of broken dreams and hearts. How many marriages feel the strain each month of another reminder? Yet, for all this, the deep and constant impulse for child-bearing fills the planet. So it was with Rebekah. No doubt, she pleaded with Isaac, and Isaac wisely pleaded with the Lord. With all the modern talk of family planning, birth control, even abortion, it should not be forgotten that it is God who opens and closes wombs, and is the final arbiter of every human life. So we read, “The Lord granted his plea” (25:21). She not only conceived, but would soon bear twins! Never forget: the Lord attends every birth, draws near in every sorrow, stands ready to help in the challenges of child-rearing, and gathers Home each little soul that dies before it has a chance to live. After all, His most precious and endearing name is “Father.”