Mary — Joy in the Waiting

Week 3: Mary – Joy in the waiting

“My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.” 
James 1:2-3 NCV
 
In life, there are a few things that I’ve made myself just accept and I’ve gotten good at not thinking about them. Without grumbling or trying to find a way out of it, I just do the laundry, wash the dishes, vacuum the floor.  No questions asked. This is reality.

We get good at accepting the little things in life or the hard things that just seem unchangeable.
We trust that they will always be there.

What would happen if we did the same with a really significant thing? What if we didn’t question the goodness of God, no matter the circumstances?  But we do, and we are not faithful.  It is beyond us to see the bigger picture.  We see these broad strokes, in one corner of the canvas, but we cannot see the vision in the Master’s mind – we have to wait.

I was reminded of this when I was holding my little boy the other night.  Fourteen months before we brought him home, I had a miscarriage, and this resulted in not a loss of faith, but one that was truly rocked.  Time has passed, and my heart is healing, but frequently when I count these four little heads, I feel that aching void. There are still days when I grieve, and I always long to hold that baby someday. But when I look at Nicholas, I get a glimpse of the bigger picture.

I’ll never know why our third baby didn’t make it, but one thing I do know is that we needed Nicholas.  He is not just happy; he is joyful.  He loves to make people smile and laugh and an inner happiness just radiates from him. Day by day, I’ve watched God use the gift of this tiny boy to bring joy back to my heart and our home.

There are parts of our stories that we wish we could escape; things too painful to mention … experiences beyond our control that send us reeling, and we wait for answers.

Mary experienced that. She had always been faithful, her heart pure, her mind fixed on God. You’d think God would honor that by making her road smooth, and yet He brought about circumstances that would shame her, could cause her to lose her husband, her family, and to be cast aside by those who shared her faith. She could have complained and tried to run away, but when we look at her story, we see a faith that persists and a heart that follows hard – and she praises, in the midst of an unexpected pregnancy, outside of marriage and her control.

Her joy is unspeakable as she first awaits the arrival of His promise, and then only partly realized as she holds that new baby, knowing that eternal joy will only come through great pain.  And I think she understood that sometimes He uses the things we are least expecting to form us into His image. She had learned to trust Him in the midst of questions, and knew that sometimes joy is a gift, but often it is a choice — an act of faith.

SCRIPTURE:
Monday: Psalm 19:8-9; 28:7-9: Isaiah 7:14
Tuesday: Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 9:6-7; 61:1-3
Wednesday: Psalm 30:4-5; Galatians 4:4-7
Thursday: Luke 1:26-38; Galatians 5:22-23
Friday: Luke 1:39-56; Micah 5:2
Saturday: Luke 2:1-21; Isaiah 9:6-7

 

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