From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. (NIV)
What on earth was Mary thinking? She thought she was blessed to have to carry around an increasingly difficult burden for nine months, only to deliver that burden in agonizing pain and then have to care for it, all while not knowing if her betrothed would believe such a cockamamie story about its paternity? If she had only known the kind of suffering her child was going to endure, so great that it could be compared with a sword piercing her own soul (see Luke 2:33), she surely would not have considered this a blessing, nor would she have praised the name of God.
Thus runs modern reason. Yet Mary knew that for however much suffering and work go into the life of a parent, a child is never a burden and can never be described as an it. She simply knew that God had picked her to play a role in His grand design, and for this she was grateful.
If we read her words closely, I think we can detect a bit of excitement, too. Do you remember what it was like to be young and capable of hearing the call of God as an adventure? As we grow older, we try to look too far down the road, to see every angle and consequence before deciding whether or not we will do what God asks. Mary was a young girl. She did not ask whether this or that would happen. She simply heard the magnificent call and accepted it with enthusiastic praise. It is no wonder that all generations have called her blessed!
Father, my life has become encrusted with attachments, burdens, and responsibilities that keep me from being free to follow You. Restore to me the childlike faith that would follow You anywhere. As I look toward the celebration of the birth of Jesus, may I be reborn with the enthusiastic faith I had when I first knew You. In the name of my beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven R. Perkins