Saturday, December 10, 2016

Mary, did you know? A Mother's Heart

I've had Mary on my mind all week.

I don't really know why...I guess it's normal to think about the mother of our Savior whose birth we are about to celebrate.  

But, my thoughts have been emotional.  As if Mary was someone I knew.

I know that some of my emotion stems from the first St. Jude Marathon I participated in last weekend.  That experience was so emotional that I haven't even been able to really write out my thoughts. 

My Advent devotion this morning focused on Mary.
Mary was a "nobody."
Truly, she was.
There was nothing special about her. 
If she had put in her resume to become the mother of the Savior of the world, she would not have been "qualified."

But, God chose her.
Above all women.
God chose Mary.

Could it be because He knew of her inner strength?
Could it be because He knew she would be obedient?
Could it be because He knew she was faithful?
Could it be because He knew she would be willing?

Could it be because all that was inside Mary was more important than any accolades, awards, publications, medals, certificates, and even experience?

Mary wasn't perfect.
None of us are.
Mothers give ourselves a hard time a lot of the time.
Can you even imagine the pressure Mary must have felt?
Can you?

She carried the Savior of the world in her body.
She gave birth to Him in a manger.
She took care of Him as a child and as a young boy, realizing perhaps the day she and Joseph found Him talking with religious leaders in the temple as a pre-teen, that He truly was meant for more than to be her son.

I believe Mary's strength shone through more at that moment than any other.
Because at that moment she realized that she would truly, without a doubt, be giving her child back to God.
In order for the world to be saved, she had to give Him back.
Give. Him. Back.

As I was thinking about Mary and today's Advent devotion, I then shifted over to Instagram and read the story of Steve and Savanna Tate and their son Hayes.

Steve and Savanna had to give Tate back to the Lord just yesterday.
Tate was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer before his first birthday.  
He endured treatments, documented by his hopeful family in the hopes of bringing awareness to childhood cancers.
 His family hoped that he would be cured.
They hoped that Hayes fate would not be what they knew in their hearts.

Sadly, he was not.
Hayes lived a brief 20 months and is survived by his triplet brother and sister, and older brother and sister as well as his mom and dad.  

I cannot even begin to imagine their pain.
All I can think of is a raw wound, pulsing inside of my inability to breathe, and numbness.

How do you give your child back?

How did Mary do it?

When He was 12, the fact that the Bible indicates that she was confused to find Jesus in the temple, leads me to believe that she very probably had forgotten or chose to forgot that her son was meant for more than an earthly existence.

She then had 20+ years to ponder know that His death was coming. 
She was human, so I know she felt the pain.  
I know she wished His death to not be real.  
I know she felt numb and raw.
She wanted to keep her child as any mother would want to do.
She had to ask, "Is there no other way, Lord?"

Savanna Tate posted this photo:

The Tates knew when Hayes cancer returned shortly after his treatment ended, that they were bringing their son home to die.
"Is there no other way, Lord?"

Mary knew she was giving birth to her son to die.
She was reminded of that fact when Jesus was 12 in the temple.
Once His public ministry began when He was 30, what she had more than likely hoped would not have to come to fruition, was indeed inevitable. 
And once Jesus was arrested and abused, her mother's heart must have suffered so right along with her son.

Jesus loved Mary too.
His final concern on the cross was for her welfare.

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son."  Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
John 19:26-27

"John, take care of my mom."
"Mom, John is going to take care of you. Don't worry."

I'm praying fervently this morning for Savanna Tate.  
She has lost a child and has a husband and five other children who are also mourning Hayes.
Hayes was not the Savior of the world, but his mother's heart reminds me of Mary.

Savanna will go on...just as Mary did.
Holding strong to their mothers' hearts and their faith.

Through Mary, God chose us, all these generations later.  Out of her obedience and willingness, the miracle we long for has already come to us. 
Kris Camealy, Come, Lord Jesus

Oh, Mary.
Did you know?

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