That second winter of our marriage, as Claude and I held our firstborn son of two months, we knew we were in trouble. This barely-five-pounds-at-birth child’s every inclination seemed to run contrary to anything that made us comfortable. He was born by emergency c-section; his colicky tummy made me give up the idea of cloth diapers in a heartbeat; his erratic nursing pattern left me engorged and miserable; he was relaxed in his Dad’s arms only in the most awkward positions; of course, what little sleep pattern he had ran contrary to ours. Tired, sleep deprived and full of parental fears, we were mercifully led to a wise military mom who shared with us a Biblically-based parenting model that helped us to parent with confidence.
We learned that saying no to our demanding, crying infant, once we knew his needs were met, would not harm him in the least. In fact, it would do him good, though any thanks for that would not come until the experiences of young adulthood revealed the good that was in his parents’ boundaries – the honey that was hidden in our ‘law.’ But the whole truth is that it was God’s law that was the lamp to our feet, and our hearts’ counsel through the night watches- sweeter than honey in the honeycomb, said the psalmist David- dedicating all 176 verses of Psalm119 to extolling the virtues and blessings of God’s Word.
Mary, who mothered our Lord Jesus, was also a lover of God’s law, and evidenced that in her ‘magnificat,’ though just a girl. The true test of that love came, however, when obedience to God’s will crossed her will with a request that ran contrary to all that she had sought to live up to as a good daughter of the Torah.
John.14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments
1 John 5:3 This is the love of God…keep His commandments
The angel said she was to be presented as being ‘with child’ for Someone other than her betrothed Joseph – a situation that could have cost her life. Yet her pause was brief, and only for clarification, for her soul knew, loved and magnified the heart of the One who was asking this of her. Her obedience at Jesus’ conception was only the beginning of a life of trusting and obeying God’s law even when she could not comprehend it. Her persistence was most tried at His crucifixion. But it was highly rewarded at His glorious resurrection, and was still reaping the fruit of faithfulness to His word, being found among the one hundred and twenty waiting, when the fullness of the Holy Spirit rushed in at Pentecost.
Father, by Your Spirit’s work in us through every season, may we, like Mary, demonstrate our love by obedience to Your Word, and like her, experience Jesus’ sweet promise in John 14:15,21 & 24. “If any man loves me he will keep my words and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Amen.