“Mary did you know?”  What a song.  Did Mary fully comprehend what God was telling her when He came to her and told her she would carry His son?  Did Mary fully comprehend all that Jesus would do when she was given the honor of carrying God’s son?  What exactly was the full conversation between God and Mary?  I know the Bible gives us glimpses, but I wonder sometimes if Mary said “seriously, God, you want me to carry a child who will die on a cross and suffer a horrible death to save the world?”  And God said, “Yes” and Mary said “okay”.
When you think of all Jesus did:  walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, made the blind to see, calmed storms with just the wave of a hand, walked in heaven with the angels…all that and so much more did Mary grasp this with all her might?  Did she feel somewhat scared, happy, overwhelmed???
I think about all this and my heart beats just a little faster…I don’t know if I could have listened to God tell me I would carry a child, watch him be persecuted, die on a cross and then rise again, just to save a sinner like me, I don’t know if I could answer as Mary did  “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1:38 NIV)
So, then, Mary, being nine months pregnant, has to go traveling on the donkey to Bethlehem to give birth to this perfect human in a manger full of straw, animals, no midwife, no doctor, no family.  I can see myself now, telling Joseph, “are you out of your mind?  I am not riding a donkey through the cold and giving birth in a strange hotel!”   I’m sure she was scared, but did the comfort of knowing God was with her make everything lighter?  It certainly does lighten my burdens.
I think about the lyrics to “Breath of Heaven” where Mary asks if a wiser person should have taken her place, but Mary continues to believe and offers herself to God and just asks God help her be strong in His plan.  And what a plan He had!
I think about God’s plan for my own life and how I tried to live it on my own and do what I wanted to do instead of listening to the inner voice of God telling me, to let go and let Him.  I think about how I lived my way and nothing seemed to go “right”.  I think about how I gave my life to Him fully over the past year and how much better life goes when I simply let go and let Him lead my path.  I think about all the people, situations, and turmoil this past year has brought and then I think about how peaceful I have become since He rules every aspect of my life.  I see how people can’t seem to grasp this peace I have found and how I do not feel the need to explain myself anymore.  I don’t feel the need to explain, argue, bicker, or justify myself – because I know God has His plan, and my hope is found in Him.
I wonder if Mary felt the need to explain.  Joseph could have had her stoned to death, but he didn’t.  I wonder if Mary felt the stares and heard people talk behind her back, call her names, questioned her character, integrity, her heart.  When I think about all this, my problems don’t seem so big at all.  I haven’t been called to carry the son of God, all I’ve been called to do is live the way the Bible tells me too, to listen to God when He tells me to move, to love Him with all my heart…and I do.
For some reason this holiday season has found me focusing on Mary.  What she experienced, what she was thinking, how she had so much stacked against her yet remained strong.  I think about how, as a mother, you have to be strong so much for the sake of your children.  I think about how God must have thanked her immensely for being such a noble woman and remaining true to Him.   I think about my own life and what God has witnessed in my life.  I realize all the times I thought I was experiencing something alone, I truly wasn’t.  God was walking with me every step of the way.  He’s had my back, my pain, my joy, He was in the storm before it even began to rain in my life.  I cannot even begin to thank Him for enduring may pain and for giving me so much joy.  I think about Him giving His ONLY son for our love, and it overwhelms my heart.  I think of Mary and what she endured and I can only look upon her with a humble admiration.  She gave birth to the most precious gift I have ever been blessed with receiving.  I cannot – in good conscious – take this gift lightly.  Mother to mother – it’s being given a heart transplant and receiving the gift of life – everlasting life – and all I have to do is give her Son my heart, my life, my soul.  That’s a gift I will not return, will not take lightly.  I hope as you think about the people involved in the first Christmas you find someone you can identify with, someone you can relate, someone who touches your heart.  This year for me, it’s definitely Mary…my gift to her is to not dishonor her Son, to hold Him close to my heart, to love like He did, to be thankful for the sacrifice His family made, so I could take a breath.
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