Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mary, Did You Know?

I remember holding my daughter for the first time.  She was so tiny and smushy and boy, did she have a set of pipes on her!  That girl could wail and she did for what seemed like a year but was really only a few months.  But, in the few quiet moments, when she slept, I would smell her hair and neck.  I would caress her cheeks, toes, fingers, and belly.  When her 1st Christmas came around, I remember watching her in awe and wondering if Mary ever felt that way.

When Jesus was born, did He cry and keep Mary and Joseph up all night?  Did He smile in His sleep?  Did He spit up?  What was it like to change the smelly diapers of the Savior of the world? Did He roll off the bed?  Diaper rash, sickness, and tummy aches?  Did He have these things?  I had never questioned them until I had my child at Christmas and I heard the song, "Mary, Did You Know?".

Yes, I think she did know that the sleeping child she was holding was the great I am.  She knew very well what she had to do.  When she smelled his head and cuddled him at her breast, was she overwhelmed at the thought that she is giving life to the Man who gave her life?  I remember with all my kids how I felt about nursing.  How cool is it that I can nourish them and help provide their immune systems with immunity and their little bodies with vitamins and nutrients?  I considered my ability to nurse as a great privilege that is uniquely female.  That very thought must have overwhelmed Mary.  Scripture tells us in a couple of places that Mary pondered these things in her heart.  What a relationship that she must have had praying to her Savior as He lay in her arms!  She did know!

Most mothers know that responsibility and don't take it for granted.  Mary knew.  The angel, Gabriel, had told her.  As Jesus skinned his knees and played with his friends and learned a trade, Mary watched on as a mother does, knowing that God had a mighty plan.  Luke 1 records Mary's very words to Elizabeth about God and His plan.

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

God has a great plan for you.  God never moves away from you.  We move away from God!  We move away from God's plan.  We swerve off the path that He sets before us.  If we let Him, He will guide us back and His heavenly GPS never fails.  I recently met a young girl whose life hasn't worked out the way she had planned.  But, she is looking to God for a 2nd chance and for guidance back to her path.  This Christmas season, are you where God wants you?  Are you off the path and turned away from God?  Then, call out to Him.  He is never lost or turned around.  Maybe you are and always have followed God's plan but things seem to be trudging along at a pace that seems awfully slow.  Know that God has you exactly where you need to be!  Open your eyes and look around for opportunities to serve where you are.  There are those who are in need of encouragement all around us at all times.

1 Thessalonians 5:14&15 says, 1And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

That is what we are to do!  Merry Christmas!

Father, help  us these days to encourage one another.  Help us to see You in the sigh of a baby or the brush of clouds across the sky.  When we veer off path, steer us back in the right direction.  Thank You for being the God of dozens of 2nd chances.  Humble us as we look at the lights and sing Christmas carols and wrap presents and cook supper.  Show us where we might serve You best where we are right now!  AMEN and AMEN!
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