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Held and Beloved 5

A Brief Look Inside the Book

Held and Beloved Day 5

A young girl was chosen for an unexpected role. Called to walk a path few understood.

She was relatively unknown, possibly as young as fourteen when she learned that she’d been chosen. Like Esther, she was purposely placed to step out in courage as God’s eternal plan of redemption for His people unfolded. 

Her name was Mary. We aren’t even given a last name, simply that she was from Nazareth. She was chosen by God to carry, birth, and raise the Lord Jesus, fully Man yet always Divine, the Son of the Most High God. 

Her role was honored and important, mightily blessed, yet incredibly challenging. She knew the power and presence of the Holy Spirit long before the early believers at Pentecost. It was His Spirit that overshadowed her when the Lord Jesus entered her body as an unborn Baby. But her calling would be carried out in largely unseen, private, simply faithful and steadfast moments in a humble home.

What can we learn about God from her story? How can I see His hand working through her experiences and answer His call on my own life as I ponder hers? There are many intricate details that captivate my attention. But I find myself lingering over some of the more difficult moments she faced.

Mary was the only person present at both the Lord’s birth and His death. Mary was the one who probably spent the most time with Jesus. Face to face, in conversation, physically touched and impacted by Him in so many ways for more than thirty years. 

We are given so few glimpses into that relationship, those day-to-day interactions. Could the Lord have chosen to record very little about their intimate moments because each of us has our own intensely personal connection with our Savior that the details of His relationship with Mary are appropriately private, above and beyond any possible comparison? 

Scripture tells us that Mary treasured all these things in her heart. Not shared, not boasted about, not questioned. No. She simply valued all those moments—some private, some public—all her observations of this remarkable Child growing into a Man. 

Mary listened to His words and pondered them. She learned to trust in this God Man she was getting to know so intimately. She trusted Him to make clear to her just what she needed to know when she needed to know it. She understood before He was even born that He came to be her Savior and humbly responded, “I am the Lord’s servant.” She was confident that He would provide for her every need. Always. Perfectly.

It is difficult to linger over thoughts about Mary at the foot of the cross, watching the brutal death of this One she raised. What depths of human emotions must have overwhelmed her! The physical and emotional torture He endured would have been excruciating enough to observe. The injustice of the whole scene must have made her insides burn and ache. But to add insult to injury, she was close enough to see and hear the Roman soldiers divide His garments and cast lots for one that was a single-woven piece. Possibly one she had made for Him? I can’t begin to imagine the range or extent of emotions Mary battled that day. 

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you… for I am the Lord, your God, your Savior… you are precious and honored in My sight and I love you. (Isaiah 43:2-4)

In passages about the Lord’s death, we see Jesus coming close to His own mother. The words from Isaiah becoming real and tangible in those dark moments. We can imagine His eyes meeting hers, His heart deeply caring and providing for her, His love for her drowning out the horrific scene and causing her to fix her eyes only on Him

I can only think, in that moment, Jesus quieted Mary’s raging emotions with His love. He reassured her that He was still with her. He reminded her to trust that her worst nightmare would bring glorious redemption and unalterable, everlasting LIFE! 

Chosen. Mary was chosen by God to fill this role. Excruciatingly difficult. Often isolated. Misunderstood. Unfamiliar and frightening. But her Savior was with her every step of that journey. She experienced the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. She treasured His Words, willingly offered herself as His servant, and lifted her voice in praise to Him!

Sovereign God knowingly called Mary into the path of a storm, on more than one occasion. In that place, He knew she would notice and ponder truths about His plan and His love for her that would hold her together and give her courageous vision for the eternal future He secured.

The Lord your God is with you… He will quiet you with His love. (Zephaniah 3:17)

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