Sometimes we are under the impression that serving God will be great, care-free and easy all of our lives. This was not the case with Mary, Jesus’ mother. She was the woman in the Bible who knew Jesus, yet had a hard life because He was in her life.
She was a teenager when God called her to be a part of His plan. She willingly accepted because she loved God and was devoted to Him. According to Jewish law an unwed mother was to be killed. But God protected her and that didn’t happen.
She still faced rejection and humiliation. She faced the threat of divorce, being an outcast in society. She bore shame and embarrassment from those who didn’t understand God’s will or ways. We don’t know if her family disowned her or not.
They did send her away to her cousin, Elizabeth’s. We don’t know if they ever forgave her for the disgrace she brought on them. The Bible doesn’t say. We do know that God protected her by working on Joseph’s heart to accept the truth about the situation.
In the last days of her pregnancy, she journeyed to Bethlehem on a donkey. Most likely she slept on the ground and ate by an open fire. When they arrived in Bethlehem, exhausted and in pain, she slept in a stable full of animals. But she was in God’s perfect will because lambs are born outside. She had no family, doctor, or nurse to help her. She had God and Joseph.
After Jesus was born, she remained in this area for at least 2 years. Maybe she became pregnant again. The Bible doesn’t say.
Joseph had to get a job to provide for them. Then Herod started killing babies and children up to 3 years old because he wanted to kill Mary’s son, Jesus. She felt fear and the hate that was meant for Him.
God protected them. He even provided wealth for their new journey to Egypt thru the Magi. Still, they were moving again. No family, no friends, another new town all within 3-4 years after saying, “Yes” to God’s perfect will.
They lived in Egypt awhile and then moved to Galilee. Here Joseph was a carpenter. She had more children by now.
Children who got sick because they were born with a sin nature. They probably got in trouble by doing bad things. Jesus didn’t get sick. He couldn’t do evil. So she faced stress, arguing, jealousy, anger and probably even hatred among her children toward Jesus.
She experienced the fear of Jesus possibly being kidnapped or killed when they couldn’t find Him on their way back to Jerusalem. He was with the leaders in the Temple, but she didn’t know that. She felt the normal feelings any other mother would feel.
Her family is growing, and she lived everyday like we do. She cooked, cleaned, probably home schooled. She loved, cried, and had pain in her body and her emotions.
She probably buried her parents.
She lost her temper and yelled, but also laughed. She celebrated what we call holidays. She had our life. And God brought her through.
Then her beloved Joseph died. She felt the pain of widowhood. The man she loved and trusted all through the journey of God’s perfect will was gone.
Who else would understand her crazy life with God? Who could she talk to now?
She was heartbroken. She was left alone with the children. Mary knew the challenges, pressure and loneliness of being a single mother.
Jesus took over the business and provided for His mother, brothers and sisters. God had it all under His control.
Then Jesus turned 30 years old and had to leave her to do God’s perfect will.
Again, her heart was broken.
He is loved by the people, but hated by the religious leaders. She barely saw Him, but heard good and bad things about Him. Mothers hate to hear people speak bad things about their kids, but Mary heard murderous things spoken against her son. His life was always in danger.
How could she endure more? How could God expect more from her? She was able to go forward because God was with her every step of the way. He wasn’t going to leave her.
Finally, Mary watched her beloved Son die on the cross.
Her heart was shattered. It wasn’t easy or normal.
Children aren’t supposed to die before their parents. She didn’t want to go on. Her family was torn apart.
Some believed Jesus, others hated him. And she was probably going through menopause at this horrible time.
After Jesus’ resurrection, she did get to see Him alive in all His glory. Her other children came around to accept Jesus because He appeared to them in His glorious being. Now their lives would be in danger. Would they die, too, because they believed in Jesus?
In the life of Mary, we see the lives of many Christian women. The truth is that even though she gave birth to God’s Son, she was human just like us.
Life is hard. Some days we just don’t know how we’re going to make it. But God is there for us to help us. Living His will for our lives isn’t always exciting. It is filled with pain, disappointment, disillusionment. It downright hurts.
But just like He was there for Mary, God is there for us. Even though His plans might not always make sense, He does have a plan and a purpose for your life.
Every woman following Jesus has their own story. They love Him and follow His will, but not everything turns out good. But He is there for us.
I’m sure on a tough, unbearable day Mary thought God forgot her or left her.
He didn’t. He was there for her and He is here for us.
Mary trusted God through it all and so must we. Even on days we don’t feel like it, on days where the pain is unbearable and we don’t know if it will ever go away or things will change. God is there. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will bring us through carrying us if we don’t have the strength to walk anymore.
He will be there. He promises us and He can’t lie.
To Read More About Jesus, and how He feels about you, read, "Finding Significance"