With Christmas just over a week away, I’m going quiet on the blog for a few weeks so I can spend all my time and energy on the things that matter most – celebrating the birth of our Savior surrounded by loved ones (eating way too many Christmas cookies, but that’s besides the point).
Before I close the computer though, I wanted to put into words how my heart has felt thing season. We spend so much of our focus on the birth of Jesus, how through his birth God fulfilled his promise to us and what it means for each of us and our salvation. But since becoming a mother, I can’t help but shift my thoughts to Mary and how she must have felt.
One of my favorite Christmas carols is “Mary, Did You Know?” and it speaks so poignantly to how I wonder about her. She unwaveringly accepts her role in God’s plan and gives birth to Jesus in a cold and dirty barn surrounded by animals but to me, that was the easy part.
As mothers, we love our children unconditionally and want the best for them in every aspect of their lives. We have huge dreams about the things they will accomplish and the lives they will change. In that respect, Mary is no different than you or I, except she knows that her son will accomplish something revolutionary. That, as the Son of God, He will change more lives than any other human that lived before him or will live after him.
What an amazing truth – to know that the life you brought into this world will become quite literally a light in the darkness for millions of people for thousands of years to come. While undoubtedly nervous about raising such a child, I can’t help but assume she also felt a strong sense of pride, honor and humility for being chosen.
But the other side of being a mother, is wanting to protect our children from harm. While it is impossible to prevent them from ever hurting, we try our best to shield them from ever being broken – physically, spiritually, mentally. The idea that we would do whatever it takes to keep our babies safe is instinctual and I am sure Mary felt it herself.
But do you think as Mary held Jesus in the barn that night that she could ever imagine the unbearable pain and suffering He would endure? She knew the promise He was to fulfill and must have understood what that meant. But if she had any idea of the path He was to take in order to fulfill that promise, I imagine she felt a heart-wrenching mix of emotions that none of us can truly appreciate.
This beautiful, perfect little life she had just delivered into the world was going to be taken from her. Before He would be taken, He would be ridiculed, assaulted, humiliated and finally killed. The suffering she must have endured brings me to pause, to acknowledge the role she played and how hard it must have been.
Jesus came to this world so that we may be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” The birth of Jesus is an extraordinary gift and I am so blessed He thought each of us individually was worth it. But as a mother, I can’t help but feel an extraordinary sense of gratitude towards Mary as well, for her courage and strength to endure something I’m not sure I would be able to.
I hope you all have a truly blessed Christmas season with your loved ones and I’ll see you in 2018!