How Did Mary Do It?

1195437603301705135hairymnstr_nativity.svg.hiIt’s Christmas and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

I survived the late-night present wrapping. I braved the parking-lot aisles at Wal-Mart.

I trimmed two trees, built three gingerbread houses and sewed four Christmas outfits.

I hunted for weeks for the perfect presents and shipped most of them to my doorstep. I’ve been to several holiday parties and watched dozens of festive shows.

But deep down I know none of those things really matter. The hustle and bustle, the stress and the mess mean nothing in the big scheme of things.

What truly matters is the real reason for the season – a tiny baby was born. A baby that came to save all men.

Maybe it’s because I have a little baby of my own to hold right now. Maybe it’s because I’ve lost a son. But my thoughts have turned to Mary, the mother of Christ, the past few days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about her. How did she do it?

How did she carry and birth a beautiful baby she knew would have to die? How did she raise a perfect son who would atone for all others’ sins?

The scriptures say that on the miraculous night of Christ’s birth Mary kept all things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19).

Did she think about her tiny baby’s life? Did she wonder what color his eyes would turn or if his hair would hold natural curl?

Did she think about how long he’d let her cuddle to him or how she’d discipline the son of God? Would she even have to?

More than anything I wonder if she thought about his death. Did she realize the impact her child would have on this world? Did she dread the day he’d die for all mankind?

How did she do it?

She gave the gift of life to the baby who would give the same gift to all others.

This year I’m glad we’ve been able to celebrate. We’ve eaten gobs of Christmas candy and seen several different Santas. We’ve sung Christmas carols and opened plenty of presents.

But deep down I’m thankful for the ultimate Christmas present.

My heart is full as I think about the true meaning of Christmas. I will forever be grateful for Mary giving birth to that tiny baby boy. For without him, nothing else would matter.

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