Day 4: Mary the Fighter
Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.
“May your word to me be fulfilled.”
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Today is for the fighters.
If the biggest hardship you’re facing is someone misspelling your name on your latte, then feel free to sit this one out. This is not for you.
I’m talking to the fighters. Not the squabblers. Nor the fight-pickers. No. I’m talking to those that each day is a battle. You’re in a struggle. You got scars. You may still have open wounds. You didn’t go looking for trouble. Trouble came looking for you. And now, you’re a fighter.
You’re not alone. Mary was a fighter.
That may sound shocking. We have a lot of images of “The Virgin Mary”. She’s holding her hand in the most delicate position. Maybe a flower is dangling from her hand. Or she has baby Jesus in her arms. Both of them have flashlight halos lit up. Birds fluttering angelically around their heads.
These depictions that show up in forms from necklaces to front yard statues seem to be selling an idea.....that God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother because she was SO delicate and SO inoffensive. It's a seemingly harmless trope that tells an easy to digest tale of a sweet innocent morning-lily of a maiden that barely had the strength to deliver baby Jesus, then quietly sat in the corner smiling at her son till it was time to watch him die on the cross.
I don’t think so.
It doesn’t add up. The more I pour over the details of the nativity, the more I see a woman that didn’t back down from a fight. Consider this, God sends Gabriel to tell Mary she is going to become pregnant with the Messiah. But,God doesn’t tell everyone else this. Mary could have kept things quiet for a while, but sooner or later she had to stand up to someone she cared about and tell them a completely unbelievable story that happened to be the truth. There’s no was getting around it. She couldn’t lie - an angel of God had told her she was carrying the Messiah.
But the truth was no small matter to tell. “Pregnant with the Son of God” is not a good alibi. It’s blasphemy. And it’s not going to get her invited to dinner parties either.
Mary embracing the truth of her position is an offense to almost everyone.
It’s offensive to those in authority because she’s claiming to be the mother of the Highest King. The wealthy will be put off that a pauper would claim an equal footing with God. The religious leaders who have been obsessively studying law will reject an uneducated teenage girl as the mother of the Christ. The truth is a disappointment to her parents, a shock to her friends and a betrayal to her fiance.
The idea that God would select a delicate wallflower to face a sea of rejection while also giving birth to and raising His Son is simply preposterous!
Mary presents herself before her God as His servant. She’s humble in her heart before God. Yet, being humble does not mean weak.
Mary had to be a fighter. She had look people in the eye and live out what she knew to be true.
And God, in so many ways, could have made everything easier for Mary. But God clearly chooses not to do so. Consider this: God doesn’t send an angel to speak to the future husband of Mary until after he has found out she's pregnant and he has given serious thought to ending their engagement. God could have just told the angel make a stop over at Joseph’s house the same day as Mary so they could both be on the same page. But God doesn’t.
Why? Because God is not in the business of getting his servants out of fights.
The Bible says Mary had found favor with God. And what God rewards Mary with is a fight. A journey of unimaginable difficulties requiring a deep trust in Him. Mary was a fighter, and that’s exactly what God was looking for when selecting the right woman to carry out a world changing mission.
You got your fight. Maybe you’re scraping your way out of addiction. Maybe you’re crawling your way out of the wreckage of a relationship. You have a special needs child. You have a chronic illness. You’re a caretaker to someone who once took care of you. You’d really like to sit out a few rounds. And there are some days you wonder what you did to deserve this.
I’m going to dare to say this:
You may be in a fight God chose you for.
Victory may be holding back angry words and walking through hallway where you hear your name in whispers of gossip. It may be losing another hour of sleep without losing your patience. It may be forgiving someone who doesn’t even know they need your forgiveness. You’re a fighter. You’re not headed for the awards platforms of this world where the wealthy and the famous claim their trophies. No, your crowns of glory are your scars. And your awards assembly is the brief rush of peace and strength when you humbly whisper to God, “I am your servant.”
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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography