Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mary Did You Know?

     Motherhood is a huge blessing but sometimes it can be so confusing. As my children entered the teenage years, I started having an internal conflict. It is a conflict that I have never conquered. There is a part of me that wants to know the problems and the situations my children get into. However, there is another part of me that loves not knowing and not having to deal or face those situations. In that fantasy land, where I love to live, my children are happy, not doing anything they shouldn't, all is great! However, as a mother I felt I needed to know what they were doing, so I could keep them away from harm. Many mothers face this same conflict. That is what drives us to read their letters from school, or spy on them, or check their phone bills. With Bryce, he would just come and confess to me about every six months. With Brittne, I had informers and then I would pretend that I got a message from God. I hated finding out things. They are both adults now and I still hate finding out things. They will tell me things they did or things they lied to me about and it still frustrates me. This is my personal love-hate relationship with facts. I want to know: I don't want to know.
    I am sure Mary had the same conflict. She had given birth to a beautiful baby boy, not only God's Son, but hers. Yet, Gabriel had told her and Joseph that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. We all wonder how much did she know. One of our favorite current Christmas songs, written by Mark Lowry, asks the question, "Mary did you know?" I am sure there was a part of her that wanted to enjoy her sweet little boy and pretend he would grow up and be a normal man, living around the corner, married, happy, and with her grandchildren. But what Gabriel had told them was part of the prophesy. As much as she wanted her son to live a life around the corner like all mothers do, it didn't seem like that was going to happen. Being a "want to know" mother, she probably at least talked to somebody who would tell her about the prophesy (a Jewish woman didn't have access to the Tora, what we call the old testament, only men did). I don't believe she knew anything other than what Gabriel told them and what was prophesied. However, that was enough to break a mother's heart. The prophesy said, the Savior, her son, would be betrayed, hung on a cross between two thieves, speared in the side, beard would be plucked out, lots cast for his clothes, despised, etc. How did she live with this? Each time she saw her perfect child filling her with joy, maybe she would have flashes of the future. I will never forget the look on my mother's face when I laid in a hospital bed at age 6. She would stare at me with a look I have never seen since. The doctors had told her I was going to die. I even asked her why she was looking at me that way and crying. She made up some excuse. The difference is, as Jesus grew older, He knew what those looks were all about. He would be able to go over and hug her, probably without a word. I think they had this unspoken understanding between them, that they both knew He was the Son of God. At age 10, when he stayed at the temple, when asked why He would put His parents through such heartache, He said, "did you not know I would be about my Father's business?" It was like He was saying, "Mom, you know who I am. Why would you worry about me being in trouble of some kind? Why didn't you know I would be here?" Then when He was older at the wedding, when asked to help with the wine, He says, "my time has not yet come." or "Mom, there is a timing. We both know who I am but I have to wait for my ordained time."
     Mary though blessed to have been chosen as the mother of Jesus, paid the price of obedience every day. If you saw what your future held, how would it effect you? Would you get mad at God for the hard times you see coming? Would you say "why should I serve Him if I am going to end up having to endure trials and suffering"? Or would you serve Him more because you know you will need Him desperately? I don't believe I would want to know. I have a hard enough time keeping myself where I need to be today. I couldn't add tomorrow on top of that. Mary's obedience was amazing not just for the things she endured bringing our Savior into this world but for the faithful way she carried out her calling of the mother of God's son. From the manger to the cross, she observed the miracles, the blessings, and the abuse. I can not imagine her feelings at Calvary, seeing her child beaten to hamburger meat, spit upon, and nailed to a cross. It was the end. The end of her child's life, the end of her calling, the end of years of penned up emotions. Yet, looking at Him as her Savior, she knew it was the beginning of redemption. I am sure that when it came her turn to stand before her Son in Heaven, He said to her, "well done, my good and faithful servant, and mother." May we serve Him with the same obedience as Mary.

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19


Brittne Thompson said...

This is a great take on Mary's emotions. Its also a good question to each of us...Would we remain obedient and faithful to the Lord knowing what trials are ahead? That is definitely something to think about and meditate on. I want my faith to be out of my love for the Lord and not based on the circumstances in my life...good or bad.
The more I read and meditate on the Christmas story the more I learn and grow because of the examples that were given through those involved in the birth of our Savior. They each offer us an example of faith and obedience.

Steph said...

It would be easy to only want to be faithful and obediant when good things happen in our lives but scripture says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is God's will for you....
It has been wonderful to really take a closer look at the Christmas story and as Brittne said see the example of faith and obedience.