15 Dec Mary, Mother of Jesus
I so vividly remember the quiet, dark room where I lay holding my second child. It was only a couple of hours after she was born, my husband was sleeping on the hospital chair next to me, and for awhile now there had been no interruptions by nurses or other hospital staff. It was peaceful. It was still. I worshipped.
I was staring down on this 8 pound, tightly swaddled bundle of perfection, and I was completely overcome with emotion, tears slipping down my cheeks. I thanked God in that moment: “God, I feel so unworthy of yet another precious and perfect gift of a child. I have done nothing to deserve this. Thank you for her. Thank you for the miracle of a child. Thank you for giving her to me. Please guide me as her Mom. She is yours first. I am overwhelmed by your goodness to me.”
I often think of Mary, mother of Jesus. Her faith, her sacrifice, her unselfish love. We know the facts of the birth story of Jesus: Mary conceived miraculously, an angel told her she would name her child Jesus, she travelled far and gave birth in conditions none of us would want, then shepherds and wise men came to visit and worship the “newborn king.” But what about those moments when she was alone with her child, her firstborn son? I imagine what she was thinking, feeling, and wondering about his life, based on the little she knew. Isaiah 9:6 tells us many of the names Jesus would be called. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. That verse also tells us He would be born for all of us. It foretells that he would bear the weight of the world. Wow. What a calling. Can you imagine knowing that from the start-that your child was being born TO and FOR everyone else? She grew up hearing all of the prophecies; she was also waiting for the Messiah.
“She was willing to be used however God needed her, in order to fulfill God’s plan for the world.”
I love putting myself in another person’s shoes, so to speak, to try seeing things from her point of view. But this is a tough one. My mind can hardly conceive all that she must have been thinking and feeling. I love that we don’t really know, either—that Scripture allows Mary’s mommy heart to be kept private. We know from the book of Luke that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” To Mary he would also be all that it says in Isaiah 9. But for that small moment in time, I imagine she simply sat in the still, dark night and held Jesus as her child, her son.
You know, as women called to ezer those around us, whoever God places in our lives, I also wonder what that must have felt like for Mary. How do you lend strength to the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the one to whom “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”? That’s a high calling. But God chose Mary as the mother of Jesus. I imagine each year as she celebrated his birthday, Mary prayed and asked God for strength, wisdom and patience to raise Jesus according to God’s Word. We know from one account in the New Testament when she couldn’t find Jesus after a trip to the temple, that she worried about Jesus. She wasn’t so very different than us. But from the few times she is mentioned in Scripture, we can learn much from her. She was willing to be used however God needed her, in order to fulfill God’s plan for the world. The angel Gabriel told her “The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid.” What more do we need? The Lord is also with us, in whatever calling and situation we find ourselves in. My favorite line about Mary comes at the end of Gabriel’s appearance to her. After telling her that she will conceive through the Holy Spirit, that her son will be the Messiah that everyone was waiting for, she answers simply, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
May we also have the faith of Mary. May we have the courage and strength to open our hands to God and let Him have all of us, let Him direct our steps and fulfill the story He has written for our lives.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
-Miranda Carson, Harrison Bridge