“…And a sword will pierce your very soul.” Luke 2:35
Pain that feels like a sword piercing her soul is not the kind of word a momma wants to be spoken over her. Especially a young mom (Mary was probably 12-14 years old) already caught up in a whirlwind that she didn’t understand. I mean, this was supposed to be Simeon’s blessing. Instead, it sounded like heartbreak. Verse 33 says, “Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about Jesus.”
I can’t wrap my mind around how she must have felt. When Simeon met Jesus for the first time, Jesus was about 40 days old. I remember being a new mom. The excitement, the anxiety, the hormones!
It’s easy to sit Mary on the highly favored pedestal – because she was. It’s a little harder to see her as a woman like you and I. When Gabriel first greeted Mary, we see her feeling the same way we would have felt – “Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.” Oh my word, I can imagine there were many days of bewilderment for Jesus’ mom.
As she progressed through her pregnancy, Mary surely dreamed of a life with her new little family. Through all the struggles they most certainly faced – the unusual place she and Joseph found themselves – she smiled as she pondered all these things in her heart. She, after all, was going to be a mommy.
Don’t you know she never forgot what Simeon said? She remembered the encouraging prayer he prayed as he held her baby, “I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is the light to reveal God for the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”. She also never forgot the prophesy he spoke. I know she never forgot, because I would never have forgotten. Mom’s don’t forget those kinds of things.
Many of us today still dedicate our babies to God. Our little girl was dressed in white, smiling and cooing at her grandpa the day we promised to raise her in a godly home. I understand wanting your child to make a difference. To be a light. Mary and Joseph wanted no less for their little one. Mary knew this child would be different. Even if Joseph was perplexed, Mary knew. She may not have understood the gravity and depth of the road her baby boy would walk, but she knew He would walk it like no other.
My mom once told me that our children “will give us our greatest joy and deepest heartache.” If Mary and my mom could have visited, Mary would have certainly agreed with her.
After all, Mary was a momma too.
Dear Jesus, As we make our way to the day we celebrate the birth of You, our Savior, help us remember this is not just a story in a pretty little children’s book. This is real life. Everyone had real-life feelings and real-life emotions. Thank You, Father God, that You chose simple folks to use in such an extraordinary way. It helps us remember that when we are willing, we too can be used in ways we never dreamed. As Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.” May you say of us, Lord, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” We love you, Lord.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.