Mary was given a miracle, Joseph a confirmation; they both journeyed across a forbidding desert, to their Bethlehem calling. Ceasar Agustus’ decree gave Mary no choice but to make the arduous trip at the end of her ninth month of pregnancy. There were no exceptions, even if you’re so pregnant you’re about to pop. God can work his plans even through an uncompassionate government. During that difficult week from Nazareth to Bethlehem, did she struggle with frustration, disenchantment, or self-pity? Did she wonder why it was all so difficult when she was giving birth to the Messiah? Those thoughts had to come to her; Mary was human like us She took the promise of God within her and made God’s promises her focus.
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child.”Luke 2:1, 3-7
A woman is probably her most vulnerable while giving birth. Going into the birthing process, a mother needs some basic assurances. Mine were, will my doctor be on call when I go into labor? Is this hospital the best? Who will be in the birthing room with us? There would be no extended family around; there was no hospital or doctor she could go to if something went wrong. Unless Mary knew Old Testament prophesy, she didn’t even know if she’d even make it to Bethlehem. I’m sure the worries crossed her mind, but she had the promise of God alive and kicking in her womb. Although Mary couldn’t rely on basic assurances, she could rely on God. I imagine Mary telling Him, “God, You gave me this promise; you’ll get me through.”
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[a]Luke 2:7
Self Pity or Song
I walked during both of my pregnancies in preparation for labor. I only walked a mile on a smooth road, not 70 miles over rugged terrain for a week. When Joseph and Mary couldn’t find a place, and Mary felt the pains of labor, do you think she worried about what they would do? She had to cling to the promise, the evidence of which had changed her in every way. She only needed to look down at the roundness of her belly to know that God brought this promise; He was going to see it pass That kept her at peace. I imagine she did snuff out those imposing thoughts with the response she gave the angel when he told her she’d have the Messiah in Luke chapter 1. We call it “Mary’s Song.”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;Luke 1:46-55
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
God has provided the key to making it through difficulties through this young teen girl to whom He entrusted the world’s greatest gift. Mary remembered God’s past miracles in her present circumstance. When difficulties come, we need to have our own song. When we allow God’s blessings to change us, they influence how we look, walk, talk, and think. Allowing God’s answers and evidence to grow and flourish within us as the Christ child grew and thrilled in Mary’s womb provides us focus and assurance within chaos. When thoughts of hopelessness and sorrow weigh us down, when we feel disconnected, unassured of anything in the natural, let us remember those answered prayers and miracles. We fight our battles and ward off fear and self-pity by holding on to the promise within.