One of my favorite stories in the bible is told in the gospel of Luke chapter 2. The one I am referring to begins at verse 21, when Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple on the eighth day to be circumcised. During that visit Mary and Joseph received more than what they expected upon their arrival. I would like to focus my attention on Mary, the mother of Jesus, as I often feel that I can personally relate to her.
While at the Temple in Jerusalem, Mary came in contact with a man named Simeon who spoke something to her that I am confident changed her life. “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (verses 34-35). Simeon was overjoyed when the Messiah arrived because he had been chosen by God to see Jesus before his (Simeon’s) death. He knew that the Messiah would change the world although the change would come at a great cost to Jesus and his mother.
In the statement that Simeon made to Mary he was forewarning her that she would go through a great, heart wrenching pain. Mary did not quite understand God’s plan at the time but she knew that she had already given him a “yes”. With that “yes” Mary would witness the unfair and brutal death of her son who would be innocent of all charges. Mary’s “yes” would cause her to come to the realization that her child did not only come as her son but also as her savior. Mary was going to endure a pain like no other as she also experienced firsthand the greatest miracle to ever enter the earth. With Mary’s miracle would come pain but with that pain she would receive power.
Like Mary, often times we go through situations that cause us a tremendous amount of hurt, questions and even confusion. We sometimes wonder what we may have done wrong or what we did not do right. I am sure that Mary questioned a lot of things as the years went by leading up to the death of her first born son. Although she knew He was the Messiah, she had no idea what his very own people would physically put him through. Mary was there for the birth of Jesus, she was there when he took his first steps, said his first words and she was also there when he took his final breath. I am sure that the birth of Jesus brought her much joy but eventually the fulfillment of his purpose caused her much pain.
However, even with the pain she endured Mary knew that Jesus’ death occurred for a purpose and she was a part of that purpose. He came to earth to die for our sins so that we could be reconciled back to God. We are now able to live in abundance and we have the power to overcome any obstacle. The pain that Jesus suffered and that Mary suffered as his mother came with a great reward. Mary’s son became her savior. He became the sacrifice she desperately needed but was unable to provide just from her natural body without God’s help. Because Jesus died Mary was given the opportunity and freedom to have a personal relationship with God through his son. Mary was given the chance at eternal life because she endured the pain that came along with her miracle.
When I read this scripture I often think about the most difficult time I have endured in my life. The death of my twin girls was such a painful time for me. The same pregnancy that brought me so much joy ended up being the one that brought me the most hurt. That pregnancy was a miracle and with that miracle came a pain I never expected. Since that time I have come to realize that the pain also brought me to a place I never imagined. That pain taught me to trust in God like never before. I learned that God is truly the healer and deliverer. Through that pain God showed me that he would never leave me or forsake me. In that place of pain I realized that I had the strength to survive and I never knew that it was there. In the midst of my miracle came pain but through that pain I received power. I received the power in God to overcome some of the toughest obstacles. The power to preserver even in my lowest valley was found in the center of that pain.
When we find ourselves in the midst of painful situations sometimes we must realize that these circumstances are opportunities for miracles. In order for a miracle to manifest there must be a place of lack, sickness etc… In order for us to truly see the healing power of God there must be an opportunity for him to heal. If we truly desire to see his delivering power then there must be a need for deliverance. When we claim to know that he is a provider it is only because he has been given the opportunity to provide. Know that pain does not come without a purpose. Even in situations that we bring about on our own can be turned around and used for God’s glory and our good. We have to choose to see the positive and focus on God’s never ending power and embrace the idea of being a miracle. With the miracle may come some pain but with that pain can also come power!