Devotion in Motion: The Hand That Rules the World

25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.  ~ Proverbs 23: 25 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

Each Sunday I print the title of that morning’s sermon in the church bulletin. Several years ago on Mother’s Day my sermon was entitled “The Hand Rocks the Cradle….” I chuckled a bit when I heard an elderly person read the title out loud as she completed it thusly:  “The hand that rocks the cradle…IS GETTING WORSE!”

I suspect the older person making the comment probably spent a lot of time watching news programs on television. The media does spend a lot of time talking about bad mothers who abuse and mistreat their children. But from what I see from day to day, I think that, for the most part, bad mothering is the exception and not the rule. That’s the reason the shocking stories wind up on television— because most mothers are striving to do their very best in raising their children.

Indeed, the subject of my sermon that day was taken from a famous poem by William Ross Wallace. And far from criticizing mothers, the poet wrote, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

Look at this excerpt:

Woman, how divine your mission

Here upon our natal sod!

Keep, oh, keep the young heart open

Always to the breath of God!

All true trophies of the ages

Are from mother-love impearled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle

Is the hand that rules the world.

In the proclamation of His kingdom, the Lord Jesus said the people of this world have everything backwards. The wrong folks are considered to be the greatest. We see it all the time on television and in magazines. Celebrities are held up as heroes, and good mothers are never noticed. Actresses are paid 25 million dollars per movie, and elementary teachers start out at 25 thousand dollars a year! That’s why Jesus said that in Heaven “the last will be first and the first will be last.”

Dear mamas, enjoy your special day. And never forget that in the eyes of the One who matters most, every day is Mother’s Day—because in loving your babies day-by-day you are carrying out God’s will for this world. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, and for her children opens the gates to the world that is to come.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is in the middle of his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where folks will have to wait in line at the restaurants this Sunday.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to