From then on, Mary’s life was never the same. She had no idea how Jesus was going to affect her life.
Think about it. After being visited by the angel, it would be hard to convince your friends and family that you were going to have a baby, but you still were a virgin. Mary’s reputation was most likely ruined. Because of it, she almost lost her fiance, Joseph (Matt 1:19).
While she was pregnant, she had to take a trip to Bethlehem from her hometown. A trip that was 80 miles long, and could have taken a week. Then Mary’s first son had to be born in a dirty stable away from the comfort of her family and friends.
About two years later, the family was still in Bethlehem. Because of this baby boy, she and her husband were forced to flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of a jealous king. They needed to wait until he passed away until they could return. Mary wasn’t able to see her family for years. She might have wondered if she could ever see her parents again, or if they could ever meet her son, Jesus.
But when they got back to Nazareth, the trouble didn’t end. I’d imagine those rumors of having a baby out of marriage were still floating around. Most women would probably think twice before letting their kids play with Jesus, an illegitimate son.
Needless to say, Mary’s life was not an easy one. There were probably many times when she questioned God. If she was to give birth to the savior of the world, why was it so hard, so inconvenient?
But when you look at all the good that came from Jesus’ life, all the lives touched and redeemed, Mary’s hardship seems to fade away. She couldn’t have imagined that thousands of years later, the life of her son would still have an impact. Not to mention that Jesus’ life and death would have eternal results!
So, how about you? When God calls and uses us for His glory, it doesn’t mean life is going to be smooth sailing. The Bible tells us to “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2 (NIV). Not “IF you face trials of many kinds.” Hardship will happen.
This Christmas season, remember Mary the next time you hit a bump in the road. While she didn’t know about the problems that would arise, she served God well and was faithful.
PS: By the way, Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Copyright 2011 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.