“…cut the baby in half, that way each of you can have part of it…” 1 Kings 3:16-28
One of the most polarizing holidays on the North American calendar is upon us. Mother’s Day is a time of reflection, remembrance, and recognition for all mothers, in whatever state they may be. For many, it includes flowers, hugs, and meals to celebrate. For others, it may include tears and solemn memories of days gone by. But there is an adulation that should be given to mothers both in the natural and the spiritual that is not often talked about. I want to speak about the care of a vision (or a “child.”)
King Solomon was known as one of the wisest kings to have ever walked the earth. When asked of God what gift he wanted, he didn’t ask for wealth or riches; Solomon asked that God would grant him wisdom. Today’s lesson makes us appreciate his request. Two mothers came before the king one day. Both had the same profession and status in life, and they lived together. They both had new children. One of the mothers accidentally rolled over on her child and killed it at night, so she switched babies. When the other woman rose to feed her baby, she found the other woman’s dead baby. The babies had been switched, and she knew it. The other mother testified before the king that this was not the truth and that it was, in fact, her child. To resolve the matter, the king brilliantly suggests the most extreme option. He says, “this is an easy fix -how about we just cut the baby in half. Sure! We can give one half to each of you, and then the feud is over!” Completely stunned by the king’s seeming loss of his senses, the mother of the live child threw herself at the mercy of the king. She begged and cried, “please don’t kill my child! I beg you! Give her the whole baby, PLEASE! Just don’t hurt my child!” The king knew that the one pleading for the child to live was the actual mother and immediately granted her custody.
There are several life lessons in this study that are universal. If you have ever had a dream, it is your baby. Imagine someone else carelessly giving up on their “child” or not being a good steward of what God gave them, only to attempt to steal yours. Imagine seeing a thing that incubated in your heart, only to be mismanaged and abused by someone else and then attempted to be stolen from you. I cannot imagine the sheer grief a mother would feel losing her child, but it is not just or sane to take someone else’s because you refuse to grieve properly. Imagine having to defend what you gave birth to. Imagine the pains of incubating, the sleepless nights, the uncomfortable joy of walking with a “child” inside of you, only for it to be stolen in the night. A real parent would not stand by and allow that to happen. The birth mother refused to accept the mismanagement lying down. She went to the most extreme measures to get her child back. Because what God has for you is indeed for you.
Secondly, the Bible says that the mother woke to feed the child. Real ownership of a vision (or child) means that you feed it. The mother couldn’t sleep through the night, knowing that she had to pour into the baby. There are times when others may want to coo and congratulate you on how wonderful your vision looks. They may even try to emulate your “child,” but they don’t know the sacrifice of sleep, assets, downtime, and rest you have poured into your child. Real vision is fed. Real purpose is sacrificed for. Real dream takes priority over your personal choices. Just like a good mother, God entrusts you with the growth and vision to monitor it under your care. Never let anyone steal that. Your vision is saying, “FEED ME!”
Third, when the mother rose to feed her child, she knew something was wrong. I don’t care what it looks like or what others try to pull in your rest time; you know your child. Knowing, having intimate fellowship and relationship with a thing allows you to understand it. You know when it cries, when it shifts, when it is hungry, and how to care for it. Know your “child”; know that no one can give the baby the right nutrients but the one who birthed it.
Lastly, the true mother understood that while the king was about to give an unfair verdict, she would rather see the child live than be divided. No matter how hard, how painstaking, and heartbreaking, a child, a dream, or vision has to live! When God gives you the charge of it, it doesn’t always seem fair to you. Real parents do not want the “child to die.” Fraudulent parents just want a piece of something so they can say they had success in an area. But a real parent would sacrifice even their own life and happiness to ensure that a child lives.
Perhaps you are pregnant with vision. You’ve stayed up late, changed your eating habits and have begun to grow swollen with vision. Don’t worry about who attempts to steal your “child.” You know what God gave you! You refuse to watch it die; you refuse to see it half taken care of. God, like the heart of the king, knows how to spare the vision and repair your heart. If you have been on the fence about giving up, or you feel like others want to steal what God gave you, put it in the hands of the King. It may break your heart for a moment, but don’t settle for half of it.
I celebrate every natural, spiritual, and surrogate mother who has sacrificed to make sure that children live. Mothers have otherworldly strength and resolve. If you gave your child away so that it could live, you should be honored on this day too. But whatever the case is with the baby, understand that a half baby, vision, or dream cannot ever be whole. Go back to The King of Kings. Plead for the life of your child. And trust that He knows how to rule in your favor.