We took the Christmas decorations down a little earlier than usual – leaving the house looking a bit empty. This year, one filled with so much brokenness, it seems a good metaphor for my heart. The Advent season, with all its joys, provided a gentle escape from life’s pressures, but when it slipped, inevitably, into the past it left a certain emptiness in its wake. I turned the calendar page into a new year carrying the burdens I longed to leave behind.
I cannot stop thinking about Mary. I try to imagine the joyful anticipation, the hope for the future, the wonder of the promised miracle. Surely she carried not only her baby boy but the memory of the angel’s words in her heart.
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.” Luke 1:32, 33
What did she think about when she held her little Son close and looked into the face of God? As the ordinary days, filled with the every day tasks of life, slipped into months and into years, did she long for the promised glory? In those seasons, when burdens pressed, did she wake feeling the weight of it on her heart and wonder how long? Thirty years is a long time to wait, and when her Boy’s time finally came – was it anything like she expected?
Scripture doesn’t tell us about those quiet, waiting years. I don’t really know what Mary thought or felt, but my heart is encouraged when I think about these things. I hope yours will be too. We cannot see past our difficult circumstances to a future time when all will be resolved. We can’t know the how or the what or the when – and often we won’t know why. But we can know the Who – the One who not only knows all those things but is working them together for our good.
Mary walked a difficult road, filled with highs and lows, joys and sorrows and a depth of pain we can only imagine. But a cross led to a tomb that led to a glorious miracle that made all the suffering count as joy.
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”
- God is Resolute
- Building Altars