It is not Christmas time. It is past Mother’s day. But several conversations with other mothers struggling in the last several months has had me once more thinking: What made Mary, the mother of our LORD, so special God the Father would chose her to be the Mother of Jesus? Was there something about her ALL mothers should know? If so, I need to know. (The Spirit first began to teach me this years ago as I found myself in front of a sister church on Mother’s day as the speaker. Don’t ask how this happened. It is a l-o-n-g story! I felt impressed to share His encouragement again. May His love surround you and His peace encompass you!)
Who is the mother you admire most? What makes her stand out among other mothers? Why is she exceptional in your eyes? Where were you when you realized how special she was and how much she had impacted your life? Keep her in mind.
Exodus 20:12 is the only commandment with a promise: “Honor thy father and mother so that YOU may live long in the land the LORD is giving you.” (KJV)
Each of us is a child of a mother and a father; whether they are living, deceased, good, bad, indifferent, present, or absent. We are to HONOR them. The word honor in Scripture means, “to esteem or regard highly.” I know some of you are thinking, “my mother NEVER did anything for me….” Can I say, you are wrong? She gave you life. Your mother made one right decision in her life and you are the living proof of that decision. If you have never thanked God for your mother, I pray before this day ends you will honor her in this way and continue to do so every day for the rest of your life. If you are a father reading this, then there is a mother of your children. The Lord blessed all nations and all men through the life of one young woman named Mary and her son is Jesus. Honor the woman who is the mother of your children; it is through her, God has blessed you and the world.
I believe the answer to the question, “What made Mary stand out?” is found in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your paths.” (KJV)
Most of the time, we hear about the joys of being a mom. But, if you look deeply into the eyes and listen to the conversations of mothers you will see and hear what they desperately try to cover up: the pain of a mother’s heart, the fear of inadequacy. Look around you and you will see.
See the moms who are trying to bring up children alone, without the father’s they so desperately need.
See the mother’s with lumps in their throats as they choke back tears because of the choices their child is making and they know the grave consequences of those choices.
See a Mamma who wonders if they will ever see their child(ren) in God’s kingdom and they have done their best to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD.”
See Grandmothers who are exhausted from raising their second and third generation of children because the child’s parents have discarded them for their own selfish pursuits.
See the pregnant teenage mom who wonders “how did this happen and what do I do now?”
See the tears of mums who have been robbed of their most precious gift, their child, through illness and death.
See the fear and horror in every mother who wonders if her child will be the next victim of violence and crime.
See the worry and weariness in the eyes of the mama whose child is in constant need due to being chronically ill or impaired.
Look and see what our Heavenly Father sees and listen to the cries He hears.
The verse in Proverbs is often quoted at times when living is almost unbearable. It seems so easy in theory but in practice–not nearly so simple. We have more questions than answers. So, what does this verse REALLY mean? How can we as mothers get this out of rhetoric and into our hearts where the LORD really wants it to be?
I have come to believe this verse is about FAITH when life makes no sense!
See: When You Can’t See God’s Hand by Freda on June 23, 2016
(This is a good stopping point if time is limited. Come back tomorrow after “pondering” your own experience.)
When we look at the life of the mother of Jesus, IT MAKES NO SENSE!
Let’s examine the facts we find in Scripture:
She is a young woman–maybe 14-16 years old–engaged, a virgin, pregnant with the Son of God. In her culture, this was a crime punishable by stoning for the shame she brought to her family. Does she fear for her life?
She journeys to Bethlehem on a donkey, nine months pregnant and gives birth to the Son of God in the equivalent of a barn and Mary knows from prophecy He is suppose to be a KING.
She is visited by three men who say they “followed a star?” and brought her gifts. The gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh are preparations for a funeral. Did she want to throw them out of her home?
Her husband wakes her up in the middle of the night to hurry off to Egypt with the infant Son of God to flee Herod. Did she asked if Joseph had lost his mind? What would make Egypt where the Jews are hated safer than Judea?
She and Joseph bring Jesus back to Nazareth where people still remember she had Jesus out of wedlock and they must work to eek out a living for the Son of the Creator of the Universe as poor carpenters.
She has a son who is a “prodigy.” So, her child knows more than she does and reminds her of this fact. Does she feel unequal for the task?
She has “normal” children in the same house with a PERFECT child. How does she not show favoritism? Is her life frustrating?
She is a widow with children….the gold the wise men brought is long gone. Where is the wealth of heaven for her? Does she cry herself to sleep at night?
She is “aware” of the calling on Jesus life but at thirty years of age He is still living at home. Did she have a hallucination thirty-one years ago?
She is the mother of squabbling siblings because Jesus is making the establishment uncomfortable. Today, we call this a dysfunctional family. Does she wonder, what did I do wrong?
She watches as her Son is arrested, tried, and convicted in less than twelve hours. She is in shock and cannot speak: It is happening just as He said. How does she survive this?
She watches her child beaten, ridiculed, humiliated, and crucified and He has never said even an unkind word to the family dog. How can the men He has poured His life into for the past three years stand by and do nothing? Where did His Father go?
Her Son gives her up for adoption from the cross. Where are her other children when she needs them?
Her Son dies and has no funeral; only a quick burial in a borrowed tomb. It is the holidays……….how can everyone be happy? Her son is dead.
Mary’s life makes no sense.
So we must have faith when life makes no sense. Paul used the word
“contentment” in his letter to the Philippians (4:12) when he wrote “contentment in all circumstances” and again in Romans (8:28) he wrote, “all things work together for good to those who LOVE the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
Contentment is a SOUL SUFFICIENCY…… an inner peace separate from our circumstances. It requires SECRET CHOICES. These are the choices no one knows about but you and the LORD. These are the hardest ones. It does not mean you will not have feelings, that you will not cry, question or even be angry. It does mean you will persevere because you made the choice to TRUST your heavenly Father with the outcome.
Mary’s secret choices are found in her conversation with Gabriel. (Luke 1:26-38) First she asked questions and then she said, “Behold the handmaid to the LORD; be it to me according to thy Word.” She “pondered” all this, A Lot!
Our heavenly Father wants us, as Mothers, to grasp this concept of TRUST. He knows if we can make this our very own, then He can lead us through Hell and back and instead of coming out smelling like smoke, we will sparkle with a radiance no Cover Girl can match!
This is HIS goal. We become more like the image of Christ.
(This is a good place to stop. Come back tomorrow after “pondering Mary’s life for the conclusion.)
Does the mother you thought of earlier remind you of Jesus? Does her character reflect peace, contentment, and trust? There are so many Scriptures that support the fact that God wants us to Trust Him and that He will not let us down when we do.
I challenge you to dig in God’s Word. Mark these references so you can find them quickly, when life is making no sense:
I Corinthians 10:13 You are not alone. Others have been where you are and God will see you through.
Matthew 6:25-34 God will provide all your needs.
I Peter 5:6-10 The Lord thinks about you all the time. All of us suffer, but, God is in control. Remember, Jesus did not stay in the tomb!
Psalms 112:7 Settle in your own mind God will take care of your problems.
Isaiah 61 is a prophecy of our Savior and of our life when we trust Him with our lives and the lives of those we love!
Psalms 56 Trust God in the midst of fear. Not one tear falls He does not see, save, and remember!
So, what is it we must do to have this Trust?
- DECIDE not to worry…..Life is a choice. You can choose not to worry.
- Give your concerns (worries) to the Lord….all those things keeping you awake at night. (The Best Gift Swap, June 15, 2016)
If you do these two things you life WILL reflect a change because you will
- Never complain
- Never picture yourself somewhere else
- Never compare yourself to others
- Never wish things were different than they are because you know God has a purpose and a time frame
- Never dwell on tomorrow
- Never drift through life.
Then the LORD will keep His promise to:
- Give the peace that passes understanding
- Guard your heart from the enemy
I think what set Mary apart as a Mother was she understood Proverbs 3:5-6. She trusted the LORD with all her heart, she did not lean on her own understanding, and in ALL her ways she acknowledged Him and He directed her path. She was content to be where God placed her in history in the life of a child.
It is my prayer you will experience this kind of trust in the difficult times of your life as a mother; that you will allow the LORD OF LOVE to comfort you as He did when He saw the PAIN OF HIS MOTHER’S HEART even while He was on the cross bearing our sins. Amazing LOVE!
Praying for your mother heart!
“Look at the world and be distressed.
Look within and be depressed.
Look to God and be at rest.” (Wish I knew who said this so I could give them credit! Heard on K-Love)
Treading through the senseless,