January 6, Sunday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Mother’s Costly Obedience”

Luke 2:19

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Due to medical issues, six years went by before we had our first child; we named him Nathaniel, meaning a gift of God. I consider motherhood one of life’s greatest privileges and blessings because it is through motherhood God taught and matured me about His unconditional and sacrificial love to a whole new level.  As I age, my appreciation for maternal love has deepened exponentially with each passing year. I wonder then what it was like for Mary to raise her son Jesus.

Mary knew, from the time she supernaturally conceived Jesus, that her firstborn was no ordinary child since there were several unusual encounters surrounding her son’s birth: the angel Gabriel’s announcement of her divine conception; the celebration by her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John; special visits from the wise men who came to worship the baby Jesus and the shepherds, to rejoice over him; and the confirmation of Christ’s Messiahship by Simeon and Anna. Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart throughout her son’s life.

She knew her son was special, and God was going to use him greatly to bring about the redemption of the world.  But it was beyond her understanding what it would ultimately cost her son to become the savior of the world: opposition, hatred, loneliness, rejection, betrayal, imprisonment, and finally, execution.

As her son’s journey to fulfill his life mission increasingly took unexpected turns and became a mother’s worst nightmare, I wonder whether Mary’s mother’s heart and protective instinct tempted her to stop Jesus from going to the cross.  If she did, the Bible doesn’t say; instead, she supported him and stood by his side until the very end. She followed him to Calvary and watched him take his last breath underneath the cross. As a mom, I simply cannot imagine how Mary’s heart must have suffered and shattered for her son.  

Yet, I can trace her inner strength back to the young Mary who thirty years before made a wholehearted commitment to be God’s servant without any hesitation, reservation, or condition.  The intuitive, perceptive Mary understood that she was not alone in enduring her son’s death; her heavenly Father’s heart wept and broke with hers, because the only way to redeemed the world was through the sacrificial death of the Son of God. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God’s ultimate plan of salvation was fulfilled through a mother with a childlike faith and a costly obedience.  As we begin 2019, may we boldly ask God to develop in us a strong faith that keeps on saying yes to Jesus with all that we have even when things become difficult or costly to follow.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the blessing of my children.  Help me to always remember that they are Yours first and foremost.  Help me to be a godly mother like Mary who loves You and follows You wholeheartedly.  We recognize that motherhood is a stewardship entrusted by You. Empower me by your Spirit, to be faithful to bring them up to know you, love You, follow You.  Loosen my grip on their lives to follow you wholeheartedly without hesitation, reservation and condition. By Your grace alone, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 7

Tomorrow’s Blog by Pastor Ryun: “Eavesdropping on Conversation between Sheryl Sandberg and Michelle Obama.”

2 thoughts on “January 6, Sunday

  1. Thank you so much. It has been hard but this gives me courage to trust Him more through the dark tunnels of mothering my special needs son. God bless you with His presence as you mother yours.

    1. A reply from Mei Lan to Jean

      Hi Jean, thank you for your response to the devotional. I’m glad as moms, we can encourage one another in the Lord. Cheering for you through prayers:

      Lord Jesus, I thank you for Jean and her son. How you love them and knows them each as your beloved children. I pray for your blessing and strength for Jean daily as she cares for her son. Let her know you are with them. You are her Father & provider and you will give her the grace, love and wisdom needed to be the mom you called her to be for her precious son. They both have a special place in your heart and in your plan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

      Blessings,
      Mei Lan

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