I love the recorded verses in Scripture about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She asked an honest question when presented with an impossibility. “How can this be?”
Yes, don’t we all ask it sometimes?
Even in December when Christmas is upon us, there can be unsettling news, the impossible thing sent to our door. A friend’s wife died on December 25 two years ago and he is still trying to adjust. A widow is missing her husband more this year than last. Grandparents request prayer for a granddaughter going through chemo. Siblings wait with Hosparus at the bedside of their mother. A young mom tries to figure out how to celebrate when divorce has recently torn the family in two.
Nightly news speaks of murder and mayhem, disease and death. Brokenness is no stranger and heartache takes no holiday in December.
And Sweet William and I deal with our own disappointing news.
As I read Luke 1 this morning, I marvel at the young Mary as she visits her relative Elizabeth. From what I understand, Mary hurried there most likely to get away from doubting questions about her unplanned and unexpected pregnancy with her wedding vows still in the distance. This was not a pleasure trip but a running away from judging stares and threats of stoning. And Joseph, her betrothed, he was not standing by to defend her.
Mary’s heart must have been heavy, even fearful, as she knocked on Elizabeth’s door. When she saw her elderly relative’s swollen, rounded belly and then heard Elizabeth’s greeting, “Blessed are you among women . . . ” Mary’s response changed to Magnificat, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Her confusion turned to praise, her fear into rejoicing. Her song echos in our ears from generation to generation.
Mary lights a spark of praise in my own heart this morning, even in confusion, even in unanswered questions, even in an uncertain future.
The Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father wrapped Himself in flesh and became acquainted with sorrow. The suffering Messiah walked among us to share our heart breaks and to catch our tears. He offers the gift of hope in a hopeless situation. A nail-scared hand reaches out to save when we are falling. He gives joy even when the spirit of heaviness threatens. He has done great things.
My soul does magnify the Lord.