However, during the years I was a stay-at-home mom, I rarely knew which day of the week it was. Let’s face it. Church is on Sunday, and the garbage truck is on Tuesday. Other than that, every day is pretty much the same.
Trash day is actually pretty exciting around my house. My thrill-seeking son still waits at the window to watch the garbage man hang from the side of the moving truck. You can guess what he wants to be when he grows up.
When Simone was that age, she used to wait and watch too.
One time, after the truck had passed, she ran out to the curb to bring in the empty can. As she dragged the large metal can up the driveway, she accidentally started scraping it against our brand new mini-van.
From the porch, all I could yell was, “Stop! Simone, stop!”
The sweet little thing looked up at me and – without stopping – said, “Why?” In a matter of seconds, she had scratched the entire length of our new car.
It was not one of my better moments in motherhood.
From toddlerhood to adulthood, we all ask why. Why should I do what you ask? Could you give me a reasonable explanation first?
As children of God, we are sometimes asked to obey, and we’re not entitled to a good explanation beforehand either. Learning to trust that God really does have our best interests at heart is a growing process.
When Mary asked Gabriel a question, she asked: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” But there isn’t a record of her saying: “Why?”
When Mary’s fiancé found out that she was pregnant, he planned to leave her. At that moment in time, Mary certainly could have complained: “Why me?” After all, she didn’t ask for this.
Of course, good ole’ Gabe had an angel-to-man talk with Joseph. Then everything was okay again.
But Mary still had to spend most of her pregnancy away from home.
She went to stay with her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary entered Elizabeth’s home, the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy at the presence of the unborn Jesus. But notice what Elizabeth said next:
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:45)
Mary responds to Elizabeth in song:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant . . .”
Her song continues in more praise and is full of Old Testament references. Most notably, it echoes the same sentiments that Hannah expressed when she found out that she was pregnant with the coming prophet Samuel (I Samuel 2:1-10).
My favorite expression is:
Well, Mary was in hot water. And remember, she was only fourteen years old, but her response was filled with words from Scripture!
(That day I called for Simone to stop with the garbage can and she just kept on going . . . words of Scripture did not pour forth from my mouth.)
Women at this time in history were not allowed a formal education; thus, it’s possible that Mary was illiterate. Even if she could read, it was not common for households to own their own copy of the Torah.
But somehow, most likely through oral tradition, Mary had embedded the Word within her heart. She had followed the example King David set in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Mary meditated on God’s Word.
There’s something about Mary.
Mary believed what God said.
Mary obeyed without question.
Mary inscribed the Word of God on the tablet of her heart.
These things were true about Mary before Gabriel’s life-altering visit, and they just became evident when she found herself in “hot water.” And like a teabag, we see that what was truly inside, came out.
Lord, I pray that during “the good times,” I will be faithful to hide your Word in my heart. And I pray that during “the not-so-good times,” your Word will come forth, for I know that Your Word never returns void.