I'm journaling my way through the scriptures leading up to Jesus birth this month. I started doing it last year but never finished and this year I got off to a late start. So goes my life.
It has been very refreshing and deepened my understanding of all that God did to prepare his people for His son. I love when the Lord gives me a refreshed and new view of characters in the Bible that I have heard about my whole life. The Lord brings them alive in new ways every time! I am ready to keep it going with a new book of the Bible after Christmas.
And then there was Mary.
The Bible doesn't give us a lot of details about Mary. We have to make a lot of assumptions about her based on the culture of the time and the events that surrounded her. The character of God also gives us some very definite hints about her character because he chose her to play such an important role; being the mother of Jesus.
But this morning as I read my scripture passage I read it as a mother, expecting my first child.
I couldn't help but let my mind wonder into the mind of Mary on that night when Jesus was born.
Wait! I can't go into labor here! I want my mother with me! I need the midwives! I want to be at home! We are in an animal barn in another town with complete strangers! The Son of God cannot be born in an animal barn! It smells horrible in here! It is dirty! God, this isn't how it is supposed to be! My baby needs to be born in a quiet, clean place where I can protect him and keep him warm, not in a barn!
I don't really know if this is what Mary was thinking, but I bet a barn was not where she expected to give birth. I'm sure she had a plan for Jesus birth. I'm sure she had idea's of where the birth would happen. Her expectations were possibly all being tossed out with the straw in that barn as her contractions grew harder as the animals looked on. And to make things worse, as far as we know, Joseph had to help deliver the baby. That was not appropriate according to culture.
Mary was a real person with real feelings and even though she had great faith, I have a feeling she also had a lot of spunk about her. Serious spunk! Her whole life she had to deal with people who didn't understand who Jesus really was.
She could have recalled scriptures read to her by her father.
"For I know the plans that I have for you, ' declares the Lord,' plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
"Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand." Proverbs 19:21
How many times have I let my expectations of something or someone cause me to miss out on truly experiencing God's blessings. Many times!
How many times have I let my own plans get in the way? Many times!
How many times have I become so caught up in the chaos around me that I can't see what God is trying to do? Too many times to count.
And because she believed...
But Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. Luke 2:19
I don't think anything happened like she had thought. Actually, her life had been turned upside down for the past 10 months so I'm sure his birth didn't surprise her much at all.
Maybe that is why she was able to cherish it all in her heart. She knew who was orchestrating this world changing event. She knew God would do what he said he would do. That is why God chose her to be the mother of His only begotten Son!
Lord, give me the faith of Mary. A faith that is so solid that any plan I have is simply laid aside for your will that is always so much more exciting than anything I could ever dream.