This series combines a study of God’s Word with a Christmas carol or song. This week’s song is Mark Lowry’s “Mary Did You Know.”
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
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 a sword will pierce your own soul too.” —Luke 2:34-35 NIV
Mary, mother of Jesus, was a simple teenage girl when her life was seismically shifted from the mundane to the miraculous. When Mary said yes to God and agreed to bear the Messiah, she had no way of knowing all that would follow from that one simple yielding of herself to God. Oh, some of it she could have predicted. For instance, the shunning by her community because she would carry a child that obviously preceded a husband. But the immensity of what it would mean to mother the Son of God would have been well beyond her knowing. Yet, not knowing, Mary totally yielded anyway.
Truth be told, no one on this planet knows how his or her life will turn out, whether Christ-follower or not. The future is a mystery we cannot see. All our lives will contain many an unexpected event, some of which will “pierce our souls” as Mary’s was pierced that day witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus.
I did not know when I yielded my little life to Christ at four years of age what my future would hold. I could not have comprehended it.
I didn’t know that …
… despite my best efforts to get it right, I’d get a whole lot of things very wrong.
… no relationship outside my relationship with Christ would ever completely satisfy me.
… some things would hurt so hard I’d feel knocked out and literally breathless.
… I’d suffer grievous losses.
Yes, suffering would be a part of my life, as in every life. And yet, I’ve also celebrated countless joys, stories of redemption, and new beginnings. Even the sorrows have had a purpose, and, as I look back, I smile to see how each event drew me closer to the God who alone satisfies our every longing and need. It’s been an incredibly good life in spite of it all, and I’m eager to see what He still has in store for me as each day unfolds.
Mary’s journey was infinitely harder. Imagine the intense suffering she endured … the stigma of pregnancy before marriage … the poverty of giving birth in a stable, of all places, far from her home … the attempted murder of her Son within a short time of His birth … and watching Him die the worst kind of death imaginable. But on the far side of all that, Mary knew incredible joy. She saw her Son alive again. Holy and whole. She rejoiced that He was Savior. She knew that He had conquered death. Pretty amazing to see all that happened because she was willing to yield her will to God’s.
How about you? Are you willing to totally yield to the One who alone knows the future and has good plans for you? Will you trust yourself to the God who knows you best and loves you most? When we turn our lives over to God, all that happens is used for His good purposes. The hard times have meaning because He shows His power and glory through them—and through our responses to them. He brings from pain and piercings a beauty that is deep and rich and poignant. Only God can do this with our messy lives!
None of us needs to know the future before its time. What we have is today. And today with all its joys and sorrows is a gift. Let’s savor it, be faithful to pray for our dear ones, for our world, for ourselves, and then trust God that, like Mary’s story, if we are His, ours too will end well, no matter how hard it seems in the middle.
Father God, help us, like Mary, to totally yield ourselves to You, trusting that all that follows comes with good purpose. We cannot comprehend the future You have planned for us, but we choose to give ourselves to You this day. As we remember the birth of Your Son this week and as we reflect on the teenage girl who said a big Yes to an unknown, but glorious, future, we too can know that You will lead us every step of the way. Thank You for her example. Thank You for stepping out of eternity and into a tiny baby body and dwelling among us all those years ago. We worship You, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?
The sleeping child you're holding is the Great I Am.
You are loved,
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