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Happy Mother’s Day, or Is It?

Learning to deal with hurt from Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Virgin mary watercolor banner art, Religious design art, Mary, h


Those words sound so cheerful, yet, for many, it can be a hurt-filled day. Perhaps you want to be a mother and have been unable to have children. Perhaps you have lost a child. Perhaps you had a mom who wasn’t loving, who was critical, or abusive. Perhaps you think you have failed as a mom. Maybe your children have turned against you, each other, or God. Perhaps your mom is no longer living and able to comfort you. Perhaps your mom doesn’t even know she is your mom anymore due to dementia. There are so many reasons that Mother’s Day can hurt. Often, holidays and special occasions serve as reminders of what we must let go of or do not have yet.

Perhaps we can learn from Mary, the mother of Jesus. We don’t know much about her as she is mentioned at only three other events in the life of her son other than at the birth of Jesus, but everything in scripture is there for a reason and to teach us to be wise. A peek at Mary’s life can help us during Mother’s Day.

We do know that she was obedient to God. She listened to Him. She believed, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Perhaps we must listen more to God and shut out the world’s idea of a perfect mother. Perhaps we need to do something God is telling us to do — maybe forgive our mother or our children. Perhaps we need to grasp onto the hope that nothing is impossible for God and let Him strengthen our faith. (Luke 1:26-38)

We do know that she praised God for His Faithfulness. She found joy in her God, her Savior. She was also a humble servant, ready to do what God asked of her. Perhaps we need to find things in our mom to be thankful for that God gave her. Perhaps we need to serve someone else on Mother’s Day besides focusing on ourselves.

Perhaps we need to focus on praising God for what He has given us, not what we don’t have. Perhaps we need to recognize that, just like Mary, we are chosen to do things for God and get about the business of doing them. She also knew the Old Testament teachings. Her song bears a striking resemblance to Hannah’s famous prayer from 1 Samuel. Perhaps we need to study the Word of God more for ourselves, not a casual glance at a three-minute devotion. She worshipped. Perhaps we need to find a church home and worship. Perhaps we need to focus on our worship instead of the distractions. (Luke 1: 46-48)

We do know she had an older mentor, Elizabeth. Perhaps we need to seek the counsel of an older and wiser friend. Perhaps we need to recognize that God has a plan, even down to selecting people who can come into our lives and help us. (Luke 1:26-38)

We do know that she was present in Jesus’ life at His first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding. She recognized that Jesus was able to perform miracles. In fact, she told the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Perhaps we need to recognize the miracles of the life we have been given. Perhaps we must realize that when Jesus tells us to do something, we do it without hesitation. Perhaps we need to forgive our mom whether she deserves it because Jesus says to forgive. It’s not to set her free. It’s to set us free. Perhaps we need to recognize that when Jesus does a miracle, it is in His time and His way, and be patient. (John 2:1-5)

We know she had other children who didn’t believe Jesus was the Savior. And those children wanted to bring Jesus home from his ministry on one occasion. She wasn’t able to deter them. Like the rest of us, Mary was an imperfect human being who needed a Savior.

She wasn’t a perfect mom. Perhaps we need to let go of the idea of a perfect mom — we won’t have one, and we won’t be one. Perhaps we need to realize our utter dependence on God, who can make all things new, including saving our children, which we cannot do by ourselves. (Mark 3: 31-34) (John 7:5)

We do know she was present at the crucifixion. She had to watch her son go to his death. She grieved. She devoted herself to being there for her son. Perhaps we need to just be present as a mom — spending time near our children. Perhaps we need to take the time to grieve the death of a child or grieve the death of the idea of a perfect child or grieve the death of a relationship. She was also taken in by John, the apostle, as instructed by Jesus. Perhaps there is a friend Jesus has given us as a comforter. Perhaps we need to be reassured that Jesus is who He says He is and that His promises stand even when we cannot see out of the dark tomb — that we do have Hope for today and all of eternity. (John 19:25-27)

We do know that she was with the disciples in the Upper room after Jesus ascended to Heaven. She devoted herself to prayer with them, and they were joined by his brothers. Perhaps we need to pray fervently and with others. Perhaps we need to pray with our children present.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that even Jesus’ family had new life in Him. (Acts 1:14)

And lastly, Mary is an excellent example of God’s desire to use someone, even if they are ordinary
or obscure.

God can use us as daughters, mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, aunts, and friends. Like Mary, we can be a part of God’s story, telling our story and encouraging others. When you tell your painful story, it silences Satan’s lies and frees you. And God can use you, just like he used Mary. 

Mother’s Day can be a great time to reconnect with God, who holds everything together, is never
surprised, keeps His promises, and brings us new life. Happy Mother’s Day in Him, and that makes all
the difference.

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