A Mother's Love
““Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15, ESV)
Our devotional this morning, comes from one of my very favorite 19th century preachers, Octavius Winslow (1808-78) was born in Pentonville, a village near London. He was the eighth of thirteen children. Though he grew up in New York, he spent most of his life in England. Winslow was one of the best-known Nonconformist ministers of the 19th century in England, and held pastorates at Leamington Spa, Bath and Brighton. He was one of the preachers at the opening of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Winslow pastored a Baptist church on Warwick Road in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire (1839-1858) and in 1858, become the founder and first minister of Kensington Chapel, Bath. In 1865, the church became a Union Church (a mixture of credobaptist and paedobaptist). This may mark a change in attitude in Winslow who in 1867 left the Baptist Pastorate and was ordained an Anglican deacon and priest in 1870. For his remaining years, he served as a minister of Emmanuel Church, Brighton. In 1868 he had produced hymn book for this very congregation. He died in 1878 after a short illness.
Reformation Heritage Books have just republished a book of his called, "Our God." It is a gem, and our devotional comes from its chapter on the compassion of God.
"Daughter of affliction, son of sorrow, God loves you from His heart. Its every pulse of life, its every throb of love, its every spring of compassion, and its every drop of sympathy are yours. God's heart speaks to your heart. Its deep love chimes with your deep need. Do you doubt this? Listen to His command to His servant, the prophet, "Comfort, comfort ye (how great the divine earnestness!) my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem (lit. 'to the heart'), and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her inquiry is pardoned (Isa. 40:1-2). And mark the tenderness of God's comfort. It is like the heart of a mother. Whose heart is so full of love, tenderness, and sympathy as hers? Listen to the touching words: "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you" (Isa 66:13). From what source of love so pure, what fountain of sensibility so deep, what spring of tenderness so sweet, does sympathy and comfort flow in season of adversity and sorrow as hers? A mother's heart is the first home which love enters and the last it leaves. Born with our birth, it grows with our growth and clings to us through all life's changes; it smiles when we smile, weeps when we weep and, when age has dimmed the eye, the head has turned gray and the snows of a many winters bow down the womanly form, the mother's love is as deep, fresh, and warm as when first it held its newborn treasure. Such is the comfort with which God comforts His people. "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you."
Beloved saint, whatever you face this morning, you can take comfort in this: the God of comfort and the Father of mercies is yours, and you are His forever.