Monday, December 12, 2016

Mary, Did You Know About False Expectations?

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
~ Luke 2:13-19, NIV ~
When Mary was preparing to deliver baby Jesus, I wonder what her thoughts were. An angel had previously told her about her son and his supernatural existence. But, did she think it would all start out in a stable?

As Jesus slept in the manger, Mary may have been overjoyed when the shepherds came witnessing of their experience with the angels. If she had any doubts about her son’s promised future before he was delivered, it should have been erased after the series of supernatural events after birth that could not be denied.

Verse 19 even tells us that Mary took these things and pondered them in her heart. The mother in her was possibly wondering exactly how Jesus was going to live up to what others had declared over him and what his life would look like.

In a way, I can identify with Mary. The delivery of my first-born child, Jaycee, did not go as planned and resulted in us being in a less than ideal place. It was not a dusty stable surrounded by animals. In fact, it was the opposite. It was a very sterile, noisy, and brightly lit NICU.

While we were in the hospital, we had many people declaring to us the future of our daughter. Doctors and health professionals came to tell us about our daughter’s labels and possible difficulties. Down syndrome, heart defect, intellectual disability, delayed development, and possibly never achieving independent living were some of the things that were declared over Jaycee.

While Mary may have read what the prophets said about the “Messiah” and the “Son of the Most High” to understand her child, I read books, online posts, and everything in between to try to figure out what Down syndrome would look like in my daughter.

I spent many hours worrying, crying, wondering, hoping, and praying for Jaycee and her future. Little that was said in the hospital was optimistic; that’s where Mary and I differed. Like Mary though, I took everything I felt in my spirit and pondered them. I wondered exactly how God would live through my daughter.

My struggles with my daughter and her negative labels happened from birth. Mary’s struggles with her son began much later. I wondered how Mary felt when her adult son was called a hypocrite, blasphemer, and not a true prophet. I am certain that she had no doubt who her son was though. She had experiences, love, and relationship with Jesus to know what was true and right. Mary had to weed out the bad declarations about her Son and allow the true things that she had treasured up to minister to her in those hard times. 

For me, I have had the opposite experience. I had almost nothing positive said about my daughter in the beginning. I was made to feel that her life was pitied and undesirable by many. The declarations were many, and I let them affect me too much early on.

Fortunately, God ministered to me over time. I began to know the heart of God and His declarations for my daughter. God saw Jaycee with potential. He saw a pure-spirit in her. God saw a good life that was not less important because of a slight genetic difference. He knew Jaycee’s worth and gave me a vision for Jaycee’s life.

Those thoughts from God are a treasure in my heart that gives me strength and hope. I know who Jaycee is no matter what other words are declared over her life.

What about you?

PRAY: God, I thank you for the example of Mary you have given us in scriptures. I pray that we as parents can treasure up things in our hearts about our children that will give us strength and hope when challenging situations arise. Give us new revelations about our children’s future and wisdom to know your heart for our kids. Help us to cast off declarations from others that we never should have listened to in the first place. Amen!


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