It was not just swaddling clothes, but divinity and destiny that Jesus was wrapped in when they laid him in the manger. It is enough for a young mother to birth her first child, but this one was conceived out of wedlock. In her ninth month, she was forced to travel to a strange town under primitive conditions. They arrived, but found no suitable birthing place. Besides the trauma of the baby’s birth, the young mother did not know that the government would launch a campaign to kill her child before he was two years old. I can’t say enough in praise of mothers.
Yesterday, my daughter was in the hospital to have her first baby. Her husband, like the father of Jesus, is such a godly man. Parents will fight for the life of their child, and Elizabeth and Jesse fought for theirs.
During the early years of marriage they were told they could not have children, but that did not discourage them. Like many young mothers, her pregnancy was an endurance test at the end. Yesterday we watched her in the battle of her life. All day long, she endured the labor and then complications came. While waiting, I heard loud crying from another mother down the hall. Several nurses and the doctor were assisting her as she fought to deliver her baby. The entire wing of the hospital could hear her screams. Her baby came, but my daughter was unable to deliver. We phoned, people prayed and after a long, hard labor, the battle was over, a beautiful baby boy was born. Besides the cloths I wonder what destiny is wrapped around this child. I can’t say enough in praise of mothers.
No mission, church, business, institution or amount of money is as important as a baby. Babies are eternal, institutions are not. Babies are made in the image of God, churches are not. Babies are destined to rule, to create marvelous things and to fellowship with God. One day they will have greater authority than angels. Above all creation, God loves babies. They are his inheritance; they are his reward. God embraces them.
“I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Mt. 18:10
Many women are denied children but battle for a child not yet conceived. They believe and fight until the impossible happens. It was so with Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth and hundreds of thousands of other mothers since Bible times. They contract a partnership with God, pay a price, and win the honor of bringing a baby into the world.
Every child is precious. If one dies, regardless of their ancestors’ beliefs or behavior, they go to heaven. All children are alive unto God, spiritually. Paul teaches, that he was once alive spiritually, (when he was a child) but once he understood God’s law, (as a young man) sin overtook him and he died spiritually.
“Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.” Ro. 8:9
Paul is speaking of his personal life, not a theological position regarding the Law of Moses. Once we become young adults, we are held accountable for our actions and need salvation through the cross. Babies are not eternally accountable for their actions and nor are children. God, who is fair and just, applies the benefits of the cross to them while they are young; and if they die, he brings them to himself. In the meantime he gives them mothers.
Through conception, birth and infancy, God entrusts the care of his most treasured creation to mothers. No wonder most possess the ability to serve with unconditional love. I am amazed at their love and at the battles they fight for their children. I have lost count of the stories from moms who say their child should have died, but God delivered them.
Men work hard, protect, play with and help teach their children, but mothers have a gift to raise them. They nurture, comfort, support, teach, endure, shield, defend and above all, believe in their children when others don’t. Even rough, wayward sons say that mom is the one who loves and believes in them. Moms can believe that deep inside their children there is good. I do not think these mothers have a blind spot; I think they have eyes to see what God sees. They envision the glory that is hidden behind the scars. I can’t say enough in praise of mothers.
When shepherds gathered around the manger in Bethlehem, they brought an angelic message.
They said, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord.”
“All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Mary knew her son’s destiny. For 30 years it seemed that nothing happened, but Mary’s faith in her son did not waiver. She prayed for her son. God does nothing on earth without prayer, even concerning the Son of Man. I am sure Mary prayed until the ministry of Jesus came forth.
It is common today that mothers and grandmothers are left to raise their children. I know of many who have done an outstanding job. By the time Jesus was 30, we know that his father was gone. At some point, Mary may have been a single mother. She continued to watch for the well-being of her children even after they were adults. She never forgot the call of God on her son’s life. She treasured the prophecies concerning him.
Jesus’ mother gave a shove to get him started, when he performed his first miracle in Cana. (Jn. 2:3-5) As he ministered in Israel, she was a loyal supporter. She stood by him when others fled. Even at the cross, his mother did not flinch in the face of danger. She went to the empty tomb and gathered with his disciples to witness his resurrection. Mary believed; even after he was gone she tarried in Jerusalem, waiting for Pentecost. Only mothers stick by their children like this. All children are wrapped in godly destiny.
Mothers will help them find it.
Grandmothers are even more amazing. They are mothers of mothers. They stand in the gap for their children’s children. I do not know any grandfathers who can do what grandmothers do. They have an amazing gift of motherhood that continues even after their children are grown up. I can’t say enough in praise of mothers.
Jesus was a divine baby, but all are fearfully and wonderfully made. God gives them angels and mothers. The mothers and grandmothers who bear and raise them are chosen of the Lord. Mary knew that she was chosen.
She said, “From now on all generations will call me blessed.”
As I think of Mary and of my own daughter Elizabeth, I am mindful of the multitude of mothers in the world. I know that God has given them a special anointing. Many are just beginning to discover it.
It will be said of a good mother, “Her children arise and call her blessed.” Pr. 31:28
As you do for Mary, honor your mother at Christmas. I can’t say enough in praise of mothers.