Children’s plays and movies paint a pretty picture, but the truth is Mary was surely criticized, spurned, and likely threatened with death by her own loved ones. Very few people understood the magnitude of what Mary carried. In their shame and honor culture, Mary was doomed for a life of disgrace.
Though she had received God’s promise in humility, I wonder how many mornings she woke up, questioning His plan, in turmoil. Yet Luke, the physician, tells us that she praised God with this song:
“And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
For he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
For he who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is his name.’”
(Luke 1:46-49, ESV)
In this beautiful, moving song of praise, my mind fixates on verse 48: “...from now on all generations will call me blessed…”
Blessed, Mary? How could any person in her situation utter such a bold statement? The Greek word used here is rich, meaning supremely blessed— beautified, esteemed, favored, fortunate, counted happy.
Mary had every reason to feel anything other than “favored” in that moment. The blessing that she carried surely felt more like a burden.
It is imperative that we stop and take time to contemplate her response because…
Like Mary, many of us have been asked to birth something big into the world.
Like Mary, others may not understand the magnitude of what we carry.
Like Mary, at times our blessing may feel more like a burden.
So then, how can we cry out, with Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord…” while we are criticized by those who once walked with us? How can we declare, “I am blessed!” on the desolate road to Bethlehem? How can we magnify the Lord when no one makes room for us? How can our life-breath rejoice even as pain threatens its very existence?
God’s presence, living in us. This is how. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do that which we cannot do in our own power.
The Holy Spirit helps us trust God’s character, even if we can’t understand His ways.
The Holy Spirit helps us remember God’s promises, and cling to what He has said.
The Holy Spirit helps us set our hearts on the harvest while we walk through the winter.
You see, there is no space for self-pity in God’s Kingdom. Every hard thing God has asked us to carry He gives abundant grace for… all He asks for is our surrender.
If what you have been asked to carry in this season seems too great to bear, it is because it is. Whether it’s parenting, marriage, ministry, a health or financial crisis. If you are fighting for joy right now, God is calling you to return to a posture of complete dependence.
Mary could not have endured the life she did without the empowering of the Holy Spirit. You and I can’t either.
Rejoice in your shortcomings today; rejoice in our all-sufficient Savior.
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A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Rooted Moms founder, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.