Last night, I had the opportunity to sing with my family in a program at church. It’s always fun to make music with them. I sang a song called “Labor of Love” and before I sang, I shared just a little bit of why that song means a lot to me. This is what I said, and the song I sang (but not me singing it, lucky you!).
When I was a kid, and later as a teenager, I appreciated Mary for who she was, the mother of Jesus. I recognized that having a baby in a stable must’ve been quite inconvenient, but it never occurred to me that the inconvenience was probably not the hardest part of her becoming a mother.
I’ve heard a quote that I think is attributed to Beth Moore. She says that becoming a mother is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body. The day I held Aidan for the first time, I understood that completely. I remember that first Christmas as a mother, I cried a lot, because I GOT it. Mary didn’t just have a baby that would save a sinful world. She became a mother who would love, protect and raise the child who would change everything about how we approach and know God.
In today’s broken, uncertain times, motherhood is a gut-wrenching job. We can control so many things about our kids’ circumstances and environment, but there are times when we just have to trust the God that made them. There are times when we just have to know that God is sovereign and all-knowing and His plan supersedes our own. I don’t know if Mary realized what all her firstborn son would have to go through to redeem us, but I think surely as a good Jewish girl, she’d been taught what the prophets had foretold. Maybe she realized that tragedy would come one day, so she held him even tighter that night in the stable. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that the labor she experienced, both in childbirth and the work of raising a son, was a labor of love. Not because Mary loved us, but because God loves us, and chose a girl with a servants’ heart to show us just how much.