Last week, I couldn’t bring myself to write the usual Mother’s Day devotional. I couldn’t find the uplifting pretty words to talk about the most difficult job in the world. While it is wonderful to honor mothers once a year, I can’t help but think about the mothers who are hurting because of their children. When our children are born we watch them struggle as they learn to talk, walk, and run. We watch them struggle with separation anxiety as they go to school for the first time. In new surroundings, they have their feelings hurt and their knees skinned. As they grow, they experience the pain of the first break up and they realize there are people who don’t like them.
Some mothers are hurting because they lose their unborn babies and they spend a lifetime mourning that loss. Every day young moms lose their children as babies before they have a chance to know them. The loss of a child can be experienced when the young man or woman walks away from their family and decides to walk the path of the prodigal. Accidents, illness, drugs, and war take countless children from us.
So, I have to ask you a week after Mother’s Day, would you do it again? Knowing about the hurt, the pain, the loss, the tests that come with mothering would you do it again?
I wonder how Jesus’ mother, Mary, would answer that question. She was given the ultimate responsibility of carrying and caring for the Son of God. She watched Him grow as a child. How did she feel when he skinned His knees and bled down to His toes. Did she panic when He lagged behind at the Temple and they couldn’t find Him? When He neglected nutrition and rest to serve in ministry did she question the call on His life? When He chose to spend time with twelve men instead of His family, did she feel neglected and abandoned? What went through her mind when the persecution started and He was arrested and nailed to the cross? Did she lose her breath when she saw with her own eyes her beloved son hanging on the cross agonizing and writhing in pain?
So Mary, would you do it again? Without hesitating, I think she would say yes!
In Luke 1:46-53, Mary rejoiced at the prospect of carrying God’s Son. For most women, motherhood is a time to rejoice. Carrying a child and giving birth is an honor.
In Luke 2:33-35, When Jesus was dedicated at the Temple, His mother and father were amazed at the things being said about their son. But Mary was also warned about the pain this Son would bring to her heart, “and a sword will pierce even your own soul-to the end that thoughts from many hearts be revealed.” It doesn’t take long to find out that our children experience pain in this life and that breaks our hearts.
Mary had the joy and privilege of carrying God’s Son but she also had the duty to bear the pain of His loss. I think if we asked her personally, “would you do it again?” She would jump at the chance to reassure each one of us as mothers. She can reassure us because now her perspective is an eternal perspective. I like to imagine that she might look each one of us in the eye and say, “it is hard being a mother but…like my Son, Jesus, each child is born with a purpose and a plan for his/her life. It hurts to watch them struggle with the hardest parts of life. But even in the pain, there is purpose.”
Heavenly Father, Touch the hurting hearts of mothers today. Please give us a glimpse or even an eye full of your eternal perspective. It’s an honor to serve you by serving our children. In Jesus Name, Amen