Have you ever thought about what it might have been like to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, during this Advent season? In her last few weeks of pregnancy, she was probably swollen, uncomfortable, and waddling her way to Bethlehem. Sleep was probably hard to come by as she was tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position with her ever expanding belly.
We often think about Jesus, the infant in the manger, the Savior of the world coming in human form to save his people from their sins. But do we think about Mary carrying this child, our Savior? Do we think about all the changes her body went through to carry and nourish God himself? Do we think about the emotions that she was experiencing as she anticipated who she was about to birth?
She cared for him so he could save her. And us.
It seems strange to think about in those terms. Did she ponder those truths? Do you think her heart always responded in gladness and understanding? Or do you think she may have had times of doubt, insecurity, and questioning?
After all, this is not what Mary had planned for her life. This isn’t at all what she expected.
In Scripture, we’re allowed a window into Mary’s response twice. Once right after the angel Gabriel told her of the child she would carry and again after she traveled to see her relative Elizabeth.
When Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her of what would soon happen, Mary’s response (after she asks one quick question) is that of submission, trust, and faith. She said,
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38 ESV).
I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t have been my initial response. This pregnancy had the great potential to ruin her reputation, her impending marriage, and her life as she knew it. She could lose everything she ever knew.
But she trusted God. The Holy Spirit gave her the grace to see beyond her circumstances to something much better. Something much greater.
When she arrived at her relative Elizabeth’s house, she sang a song of praise.
“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon the humble state of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.” (Luke 1:46-56).
Do you hear it in her voice? In her words?
God has done great things for her.
He has shown her mercy.
He has exalted her in her humble estate.
He has filled her.
He has helped her.
Do we trust God and know his character enough to know these truths? To see beyond our circumstances? May we know our God like Mary knew God – regardless of whether you’re faced with an unplanned pregnancy this Christmas season or even if you’re just struggling to know what your next steps should be.
His plan is great. He shows mercy. He exults our humility. He fills us. He helps us.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center!