1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us. (WEB)
This is the first of a two part blog where I will be talking about the model of family that our God and Father has intended for His kids. I find it interesting how descriptive the Apostle Paul is in today's passage of Scripture using the illustration of a nursing mother to describe his relationship with the Thessalonians church.
He doesn't describe his relationship with these dear folks as organizational or structural, but purely relational. I don't think you could paint a more intimate relationship than that of a nursing mother and her children. And of course, a mother's heart for her children is not defined by what she gets out of the relationship, but what she gives.
My prayer today is that we would see what our Father is after in our relationships with one another. Though we may be an army in one form or another, that is not what defines us. Though we may need a certain amount of structure to help facilitate how we connect with one another, it is not our organization that defines us.
The very reason that we can call each other 'brother' or 'sister' rests firmly on the foundation that we have the same Father. And our Father is all about His family. It always has been and it always will be. When Paul used the illustration of a nursing mother to help communicate his care for the Thessalonians, I wonder if he was thinking of when Father God said the same thing to the nation of Israel?
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her; that you may nurse and be satisfied at the comforting breasts; that you may drink deeply, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”For thus says Yahweh, “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream: and you will nurse. You will be carried on her side, and will be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (WEB)