When Mary was only a teenager, she was confronted with the challenge to be completely submitted to God’s will.
When Gabriel gave her the angelic message that she was to carry the Christ, Mary was stunned. Mary never wavered from her complete submission to God’s will. Was she nervous? Certainly. Was she unsure of her own abilities? Who wouldn’t be? Was she anxious about the prophecy that part of her future would include pain? Yes!
Mary was a little like the mother who sits up late at night, far past her bedtime, waiting for the date to be over. She was like the one who said the silent, heart-felt prayer as she watched her child drive away from the house, taking all those raw instincts into streets of great danger.
But Mary was unlike a lot of parents in the world today. Mary was first of all completely committed to God. In her humanness, she had no room for commitment to anything else. And that made her a mother worth imitating.
A mother called by God doesn’t have to be perfect. She cooks and cleans. If married, she has a feast waiting on her husband when he arrives home from his much-less demanding job, and she needs no car pool whatsoever. She simply puts on her Super-mother cape and flies her children to their next appointment. A mother called by God never relinquishes the title.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother. Mary didn’t stand stoically and passively by at the foot of the cross. She crumpled at the cross. She fell down to the depths there, moaning and wailing and begging the God of heaven to stop her hell on earth.
The truth of Simeon’s prophecy at the birth of Jesus was suddenly true. The cross cut deeply into Mary’s heart. Despite the pain, however, Mary was there. She was a mother from the beginning, and a mother at the end. A mother called by God never relinquishes the title.
You’ll find mothers like that in, stay at home moms, halls of children’s hospitals, teachers, in counselors’ offices, working mothers, single mothers. Mothers never relinquish the title, even if the child is rebellious, harsh, or cruel. Her heart just will not waver. Not when she is called by God.
The crosses are different for every family, but frankly, the crosses usually come. There may be a divorce, or disease, an addiction, or death. There may be harsh words, and unacceptable actions. There may be tough love, and impossible nights. Through it all, mothers called by God never relinquish the title. Never.
There is nothing like a mother’s love. Mary had a chance to see God’s entire plan played out. She suffered through the crucifixion, celebrated the resurrection, and even was part of the small group that witnessed the powerful presentation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14)
What a gift from God, to live long enough for parenting to make sense! Some parents live long enough to see God’s plan for their children. Some see God working in the lives of their grandchildren. Some surely only see God’s plan from the halls of heaven.
It’s a bit unusual to close my message from the newspaper comic strips, but the children of Family Circus were once discussing babies. One of the young experts announced: “Storks don’t bring babies. They come UPS.” Some of the other children had different ideas, but the best was saved for last. “Babies,” said one, “are connected to their mothers by a biblical cord.” Out of the mouth of “babes.”
Every idea from this message came from the Bible. There are so many solid principles for parenting in the Bible, no parent can afford to not know them. If you’re going to be a godly parent, be sure to be immersed in God’s Word, fully committed to the calling He’s given you. God loves you so much.
Happy Mother’s Day!