advent devotional day 16, a mother's love

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

 ”Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: 
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, 
and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 
so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. 
And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

We can possess empathy for Mary.
To even say that feels wrong; I mean, it’s the Virgin Mary.  But I believe we sometimes forget that, though she held the immaculate conception, the Savior of the world, she was still a human.  She was still a woman.  She was still simply a servant of God.  This Scripture tells a very vivid story in its short verses:  Mary considered the wonderful things of the child entrusted to her, and she knew that there would come a day where the Lord would take Him back.

“A sword would pierce her own soul, too.”  

She was aware from the very first message that her life would be turned upside-down time and time again until God’s work would be finished.  First pregnant, then to know that the child was to redeem the entire world, then to hear Simeon confirm this and what pain that reality would be for her.. it just seemed to never end.  I believe she was working with her very deep faith in these moments.  That first night, when the shepherds came and saw, then went and told, it says that Mary “treasured up all of these things and pondered them in her heart.  We should understand that this was a moment of clear revelation for her.  The word used for treasured is actually “kept” in the KJV and one of its descriptions is to “remember, and obey”.

Girls.. Mary not only heard of what was to come of her precious little babe,
but she was also entrusted with the strength to remember, and be blessedly obedient.  

Being a mother comes with joys and fears.  As badly as I want Eli to grow into a strong and independent man, I fear that the opposite can happen.  Either he won’t be strong, or he won’t be independent.. or he won’t even grow to be a man.  Fears fill a parent’s heart, naturally.  God promises us that there is a reason He has sent a child; not a promise that they will become what we want them to be.  God also promises to hold us through it all.  Mary, though she knew full well that the inevitable would soon reach her presence, held tight to Jesus as a young child and boy, and cherished each moment she had.  I believe the depictions we see of her weeping and wailing to God are most accurate, because

Just because she was gracefully obedient
as she carried and delivered Him,
didn’t mean she would be so gracefully obedient
as He carried the cross that would deliver the world.

The hearts of mothers are like deep and endless seas..
they carry more than anyone could ever discover
and they are helpless at the whim of the hand of God.  

Blessed are each one of them.

Today, as we wind down for the night and prepare our children, and ourselves, for the gifts that we’ll receive in the morning, let’s wind down our pride and anger and shortcomings and tensions and prepare our hearts for the gift that God sent us in Jesus.  Tonight, if you are a mother, tuck your sweet little ones in knowing that they are still that much closer to God in purity and love, and that we as parents can truly understand what our blessed mother Mary went through with her own Son.  

Everyone, take all of her worries, wonders, amazement and joy, and treasure them up in your own heart.  Remember them, be obedient in your faith.  Pierce your soul each day with the promise that she and our Lord Jesus endured the most toughest love so that we could be blessed beyond belief!!  

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