Today we recall Mary’s “yes” to the angel’s announcement that she is highly favored and will bear the Son of God. That’s a big deal, I don’t care who you are.
All of Heaven awaits her response. It’s a perfect example of obedience to the will of the Lord when she says ‘yes.’ Her son will give an even more impressive example when He goes to His death. Mary, Jesus’ mother would learn within a few days of his birth that a “sword” would “pierce her heart,” also. She could not imagine how at that stage of her baby’s short human life, but it would probably cast a shadow over everything her boy did from that day forward. Simeon’s prophetic word would color every aspect of her motherhood until the passion and death of Jesus Christ when it would be fulfilled.
I used to say, when my Soldier was deployed to a combat zone, that everything I did as his wife was tainted by the underlying anxiety that I felt every waking moment that we were apart. I think that’s true of just about every Army Spouse I know. And I discovered a few years ago that it was even more the case when a child of mine was deployed. To have my son in a combat zone certainly affected every experience and emotion, making things less enjoyable and me a bit distracted at pretty much all times.
I remember shortly after he returned safely from Afghanistan realizing that I felt happy for the first time in a year, the length of his deployment and the months leading up to it, as well. I’ve heard it said that hell is the absence of a loved one. And we gain an understanding of that when a family member is deployed. (It follows then that actual hell is the absence of the Loved One, our Lord and God, by the way.) As one who, sadly, knows more than a few Gold Star families at this point, I can see that their hell on earth was the loss of their Soldiers during deployment to a war zone. It breaks my heart, but I also know that so many of them have a firm belief that they will see their loved one again.
And I am certain that Mary knew that, as well. I’m sure that she was overjoyed at the Resurrection, beyond even understanding what that resurrected Jesus meant to the world. As His mommy, Mary was grateful beyond all telling to know her son was alive again. As a mom myself, I can just imagine. And that is the kind of faith that keeps many a Gold Star family hopeful and eventually joyful again. This period after they’re gone is just some ‘time apart’ before the ultimate family reunion for all eternity.
Saying “yes” to God’s plan makes everything a little bit easier to bear, I think. It helps us to know that God’s in control and that His promises are true so we will be with the Father and our loved ones one glorious day. It helps to know Jesus suffered, too, when we suffer. Mary had very little information at the start of her journey as the Mother of God. We have more as believers in her son. And we have her example to follow and her prayers on our behalf to help us through.
There will be hills and valleys throughout our lives. But we know that Jesus is with us every step of the way. And so with confidence and certainty we can say, “Let it be done to me according to Your will.”