With two kids' birthdays just around the corner, I've been reflecting on their lives. Where they currently are, and the hopes I have for their futures. I think a lot of moms do this because I've noticed a trend on my social media pages. Many of us post a picture of our little one with a Happy Birthday message not only about how great our kid is, but also acknowledging all the things that encompass motherhood. For example, some of us say, "to the one who made me a mom" or "my life is so much better with you in it" and " you've taught me so much". Because welcoming a baby into your life changes your whole world, and I've been thinking about that this holiday season.
You know that Christmas song, "Mary did you know?" It used to really annoy me, it goes on a little too long and gets a little too whiny for me. Since becoming a mom, I can actually appreciate the words in the song. If Mary were to know all the things Jesus was sent to fulfill, would she have agreed to be His mother?
I wonder what she saw in him as they both lay there, recovering from birth. I wonder if she imagined all the things his life could hold as she counted his ten wrinkly toes. I bet her dreams for that tiny bundle, who smelled so sweet, never matched up to how his life actually went. I wonder if at times when he was growing, she stood there completely perplexed by him. He would have been so different from every other child. Never giving her a reason to discipline him, never talking back or acting out. Would her proud post on Instagram have been a picture of Jesus teaching in the temple? #hesonlytwelve #sayshesaboutHisFathersbusiness
Somewhere in the back of her mind did a mother's intuition cause her to be just a little unsettled? At what point in life did she begin to realize that her son, the Messiah, was nothing like the images she had in her head. The ones of the promised King. After all, in Jewish mindset, this King was coming to vindicate. I imagine that to them, vindication did not look like a battered body, hanging on a cross.
It almost seems like a cruel joke. Mary mothers a truly perfect child only to watch him grow up and be hated, mocked, judged, tormented, beaten and eventually brutalized until death. All right before her eyes. And for what? She must have wondered for what? Because Mary didn't know, she didn't know the ending.
Do you ever feel like Mary? Confused by Jesus and His ways? Does it ever feel like life is going the exact opposite of how you imagined? Are you having to walk through situations or maybe watch as others, who are close to you, go through tough stuff. Are there things in your life that bring grief and pain?
I've got em, those issues, those questions that are sometimes asked in disbelief. Everybody does. But here's the difference between Mary and us. We know the ending to the story. Yes, this life is hard, and often it's different than what we expected. But this story, which is filled with holy mystery, and is not always easy to comprehend. This story did not start in a manger and end in unmet expectations on a cross. Those weren't the final chapters. It was just the beginning.
So when Mary had her baby, he didn’t just change her world. He rocked the entire earth. He reached out toward the outcasts rather than looking away. He loved the unlovable. He fixed what was broken. He healed what was diseased. He redeemed us by conquering sin and death.
And because His story ends in triumph, ours does too.