Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mary.

I know Mother's Day is not for a few weeks yet, but it's got me thinking.
Can you imagine being the mother of Jesus?

Stroking little cheeks that one day would be struck with the back of hateful hands?
Swaddling the soft little body that would soon be torn apart with a torturous whip?
Kissing the little brow that would eventually bleed beneath a puncturing crown of thorns?
Holding the little hands that one day would be pierced with nails to a splintery cross?

Looking into your baby's eyes, knowing that this perfect, innocent, beautiful, loving child would undergo the most excruciating death,
                                                                           for you?

The meaning of the name "Mary" is "bitter". And I can understand why. That must have been one of the most bitter experiences to ever live through.

I look into my firstborn son's eyes, see his gummy grin, hear him coo and babble, and I think about seeing him as a grown man being tortured and mocked and executed in an unspeakably painful death, and my eyes well up with tears. I could not bear to see my son undergo such a destiny. And yet, Mary knew that the little boy she nursed at her breast and sang to sleep was not just a baby boy after all, but the Son of God come to rescue every man, woman and child on this earth from the eternal sentence of death. She "pondered these things in her heart".  I cannot imagine the incessant wrestling and turmoil that accompanied the process of relinquishing her motherly instincts and dreams to God for the purpose of His glory. For, as much as it rent her to pieces to watch her son take each step of his life toward his brutal death, surely she knew it must be done for the salvation of her soul and the soul of every other human that comes into this world. And I can only imagine the overwhelming joy and relief Mary felt when Jesus rose from the dead and finished what He came to do--conquering sin to provide restoration between us and God.

Happy Mother's Day, Mary. You set an incredibly unique example of truly denying your fleshly dreams and desires for the greater glory of God's purpose and the reward of faithfully trusting in His promises. May I spend my days as a mother placing my son into the hands of my God as I believe you must have done. After all, our children are gifts from God; they are His first, and in His arms they are safest and we may have peace no matter what happens to them.


Spring. A time of renewal. Seeds lying dormant beneath the cold hard ground break through the surface and bring life and aroma and color to a dull gray landscape. There is a sense of starting anew, afresh, after a long dreary season of slumber, waiting for warmth and sunshine. What once was cold and dark and hopeless-looking now sprouts warmth and light and the beginning of something new.

So it is with my heart. I confess, for too long I have been numb toward the One whose heart skips a beat whenever I speak His name; whose breath I unknowingly take away whenever I glance in His direction. I have been, as so many Christians currently are, going through the motions. I have slowly been "falling out of love" with the One who gave everything He has to win my heart, while juggling all the Christian things I "ought" to be doing, without feeling. I've realized I've stopped pursuing God's presence because, while the answer to hearing His voice is abiding in His intimate presence, I've subconsciously concluded that I "know" all I need to about God and just want His answers, rather than knowing God Himself and understanding His heart. I have pursued God's will but not God Himself.

But out of the settled, complacent and compacted dirt of my heart is springing up seeds of rekindled affection and desire for the presence and kinship of my Jesus. Mmmm...my Jesus. My Jesus, who knows the real me--the truths about me that I hope no one ever comes to know--and still wants to sit and talk with me. Mmmm...talk with me. Not lecture. Not condemn. Not stonewall. My Jesus wants to listen to the movements of my heart, to hear me pour out to Him in confidence...and in turn, He wants to confide in me! He wants to reveal His mysteries to me!

On Sunday a friend prayed over me for refreshment. And O, how God is answering that prayer! I feel sorry for whoever reads this, because these words on the screen cannot accurately convey the breakthrough I believe is making its way into my life. I know feelings do not define faith, but they can sure help. And I've been needing some fresh feelings for my Savior lately.

It's gone from mostly cloudy skies with a chance of rain to sunny with a high of 75 in my heart. I welcome the Spring season in my soul.