But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
This CHRISTmas season has already been off to a busy start in our home. The tree has been decorated. Lights have been hung. Songs are being sung. We watched two parades and our hometown's annual CHRISTmas tree lighting all in the same day. I love the busyness of the season - all of the things there are to see and do, but more than anything I love spending time celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Last night my daughter, Dacey, and I were able to do both as we enjoyed a ladies CHRISTmas tea at our church. It was a fun night with carols and games and lots of good food, but the best part came at the end when our pastor's wife shared the story of CHRISTmas from Luke chapter 2. She spoke of Mary and questioned what was it that God saw in Mary that made Him choose her to carry HIS SON of all of the other women in the world. What made Mary different from me? I have identified with Mary on different levels in the past, but Pastor Teresa's words last night brought to mind many things I have pondered on ever since.
It was ten days before CHRISTmas in 2000 that my son, Jaden, bounced into this world! Can I tell you that he was the BEST CHRISTmas present that I have ever received? During the last several weeks of my pregnancy as I was "very heavy with child", I thought of Mary often. I imagined what it was like to travel at that stage of her pregnancy. She didn't ride in a heated car but in the cold on the back of a donkey. She didn't give birth to him in a pregnancy suite with family and friends awaiting his arrival but rather in a stable with the smells and sounds of farm animals.
It was just six days before Easter in 2004 that I laid in a hospital bed hemorraging after the loss of my sweet Layna Grace. I was hurt, confused, and angry. It was in that state that I asked God why He'd given me the promise of a child only to take her from me before I'd even held her in my arms. Again, He reminded me of Mary.
My mind turned towards the cross. Mary watched her son- her promise- crucified at the hands of the very people he'd been sent to save. Surely she wondered what had gone wrong that He was taken from her in such a way. She must have felt hurt, confused, and maybe even angry. Yet Mary didn't know that on the other side of that dark and dreary grave on the Friday Jesus was buried would be the Sunday when the stone would be rolled away and her son would live again! These thoughts comforted my heart as God showed me that I couldn't see the extent of His plan in the loss of my child, but He does indeed have a plan!
Christmas is just nineteen days away. During this time of celebrating Jesus' birth, may our focus remain on Him and all that He came to give us. On this "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" I have chosen the song "Mary Did You Know".
God knew. - For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11