Don't tell mom.

“Don’t tell your mother.”

Have you had that conversation?  Maybe you were the child receiving that instruction from your dad.  Maybe you are the dad saying that to one of your kids.  We hear that line and our eyebrows arch in curiosity.  Why is dad hiding something from mom?

Maybe he is planning a great surprise.  Maybe.  Probably, though, he has just broken a Mom-Rule.  Usually, it means there are some shenanigans going on (to use my mom’s phrase for it).  Dads think it is best for moms to not know some things.  It is futile.  Moms will find out.  Mom knows.  Every time.

Some things can’t be hidden.  If a kid is involved, they are bound to squeal.  And moms have that ESP thing that allows them to see behind them, hear conversations a football field away, and sense where stuff is hidden.  They know.

Knowledge is power.  Even having the ability to know is power.  In truth, moms may not know everything, but we all know they have the capability of finding out.  It is a great deterrent.

Samuel’s mom is one of my heroes.  For years she longed to be a mom but it never happened.  In desperation she poured out her angst in prayer to God.  So intense was her supplication that a nearby observer thought she was drunk.  When confronted she replied, “I am under a great deal of stress. I have drunk neither wine nor beer. Rather, I have poured out my soul to the LORD (1 Sam. 1:15).  

The story goes on to say that God remembered Hannah (1 Sam. 1:19) and she became pregnant.  She was overjoyed at this blessing and dedicated her son to full time service in the tabernacle.  What a huge sacrifice!  This boy, Samuel, went on to be the spiritual leader for the nation Israel, anointing kings and teaching them the law of God.

After her years of childless sorrow, Hannah gave praise to God.  God remembered her.  God heard her.  God knew her reality.  

It isn’t just the happy resolution that draws me to this story.  It is how God’s character is revealed.  In Hannah’s day, she would have been considered a second-class citizen.  Unable to bear children, she was the second wife to Elkanah.  Yeah, he had two wives.  She was at the bottom of the pecking order.  She goes alone into the tabernacle to pray.  She is so emotionally distressed she is mistaken for a drunk.  The lowest of the low in the lowest place of her life cries out to God in solitude and silence.  No great choir of voices.  No eloquent words.  No intercessor of influence.  Just a broken person.  And God knows.  God hears.

Here is what Hannah said about God:

There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.
 (1Sam. 2:2-4 NASB)

Let’s be careful.  We are looking at Hannah’s experience with hindsight.  It is always 20/20.  We all long for that same kind of resolution to our issues.  We may not be seeing it.  We may never experience it.  But God knows.  He is not ignorant of our discomforts, angsts, fears, stresses, and anxieties.  He is not ignorant of our pleas of distress.  

God knows.  He does respond, albeit usually in ways and with timing we don’t expect.  His engagement with us is not triggered by how loudly or eloquently we pray.  He responds, not out of our effective communication skills, but because of who He is.  There is none like Him.  His heart is always soft and attentive toward us.  He cares for us because He knows us.

The psalmist said it well:

He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

(Psa. 103:14).

God knows. He knows better than mom does.  Mom gives the impression of seeing all, hearing all, knowing all.  With God, it is reality.   It is a great encouragement.  Wherever we are on this Monday morning, be encouraged:  God knows the both the joys and the sorrows of Your heart.  And He cares.  You may not want to tell your mother but  you can tell your God.

Graham Bulmer
Lead Pastor
Graham and Sharon Bulmer bring many years of pastoral, teaching, leadership development and administrative experience to the Q50 Community Church plant. They served in Latin America as missionaries for almost 15 years, and have pastored here in Canada.