Focus: The purpose of God
Luke 1:51-53 (NKJV) He has shown strength with His arms; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
We don’t know much about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Luke 1:51-53 is part of Mary’s response to her cousin, Elizabeth, when she recognized by divine revelation that Mary was pregnant with the Messiah. One thing we can be sure of is that Mary was not pretentious. She was humbled and awed by the fact that she was chosen by God to bear His only begotten Son.
Mary was conscious that God had not selected her because of her social status or financial position. Even through the early days of her pregnancy, Mary already had a sense of what God was doing. She knew she was carrying the Son of the Most High God. She knew the child she would bear would not be a typical king catering to the rich and powerful, but one who would bring hope to the hungry and oppressed.
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I’ve always wished we had more information about Mary’s childhood and home life. We can only imagine the controversy surrounding a young Jewish girl who became pregnant out of wedlock. She could have been stoned, had Joseph not agreed to go through with the marriage that had already been planned according to their custom.
After Jesus was finally born, it’s hard to imagine the feelings Mary had when King Herod began killing off baby boys because he had received information from people he trusted that a new king had been born. Herod wasn’t about to give up his throne…not without a fight, at least. Contemplate the young and inexperienced first time Mom as she concealed her tiny son and fled during the night with her new husband, Joseph, to a foreign country to spare the child’s life.
Throughout the lifetime of Jesus, there must have been many times when Mary could have questioned her calling–times when she might have wondered how the plan of God was going to work out. Oh, sure there were times when she was happy and confident, as she saw Jesus begin to show the signs of His gifting. Naturally, she was convinced He was amazing…she was His mother! When the miracles started happening, Mary probably was as proud as any mom would have been. Why wouldn’t she be? Her purpose, and His, was starting to look good.
It’s impossible to conceive Mary’s agony as all too soon, she witnessed her firstborn son publicly put to death after He suffered unthinkable cruelty. Like any mom, it had to be hard for her to leave the tomb where they laid Him following the crucifixion.
The night Jesus died, Mary must have lain awake wondering about a lot of things. Over the next couple of days, she had to have felt more pain than any of the others. She was His mother, after all. Even if she believed He would rise again, the aftermath of observing so much horror had to be traumatic to say the least. During the hours in between the death and resurrection, Mary must have carefully sorted through her thoughts and recollections of things she had been told and words Jesus had said–trying to piece together some explanation–some kind of solution to the awful mystery she was living through. Some might venture she knew all along–but still, what mother could have peace seeing the son she had birthed and raised, tortured beyond recognition? There had to be grief…more than grief.
We know that blessed relief finally came when Mary heard Jesus was alive again. All the wondering and pondering was over, as her mind was medicated by the flood of reassurance, that what Jesus had predicted had actually come to pass. His suffering was over…better than over.
In the course of Mary’s calling, she experienced many extreme afflictions and an equal measure of mighty deliverance. Her life will always be an example of love and faithfulness. Mary was an unlikely candidate who said ‘Yes’ to the purpose of God, and finished well.
You might be another unlikely candidate. You have been called to bear Jesus in your own life, in another way. The extent of your calling may not be completely clear to you right now. You may wonder what kind of sense could be made out of the way your circumstances appear at the moment.
Just keep saying, “Yes” to the purpose of God, and finish well.
Declaration: I will find new strength by continuing to say, “Yes” to the purpose of God for my life. What the Lord has in mind for me will unfold day by day as I embrace the reality of ‘His life in me’, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.