By Lynn Jones
He could not have been more than four years old. He stood in front of the lost-and-found desk at a large store. He hardly reached the top of the desk, and there were traces of hastily-wiped tears on his chubby face. He asked in a quavering voice, “Have any mothers been turned in this morning?”
There is something about a child that longs for a mother. In those years when life is taking root and growing toward maturity, a child looks to a mother for warmth, nurture, love, and support.
A father may be the head of the house, but a mother is its heart. A good mother is as indispensable to a healthy family as a healthy heart is to a healthy body. There is a search for such mothers today. Everyone has some model for what a mother should be.
Mary the mother of Jesus is a positive model for all mothers. Her experience as the mother of Jesus was multifaceted. She knew days when her faith was tried and tested, as when Gabriel came to her with the announcement that she had been chosen to bear the Messiah into the world. She knew moments of wonder as when the star of Bethlehem swung low over that little village at the birth of Jesus. She knew days of pride as when her son preached in his home synagogue at Nazareth. But she also knew days of stress as when her other children were critical of Jesus, and, especially when she saw him die upon the cross. She knew the exhilaration of resurrection, but then she also knew the pain of separation when he ascended into heaven at the age of 33.
Luke wrote of Mary and Joseph, “Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:41). They were not obligated to do so, but every year they went—not out of a grim sense of duty, but out of love and adoration for the Lord. That kind of faith has a way of spilling over on the lives of sons and daughters who see it modeled before them.
She also modeled how parents are to respond to pain. Pain goes with parenting like love and marriage and a horse and a carriage. You cannot deal with one without dealing with the other. Being a parent is not easy. Parents can be thankful that tears are not made of indelible ink, or the face of every parent would bear permanent stains.
The last reference to May in the Bible is found in Acts 1:14. It records, “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” God gave her grace for every moment of her journey as a parent. And you can trust that He will give you grace for every moment as well.
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.