Though it's been many years since my children were born, I remember how much I appreciated every comfort offered me during and immediately following the birthing process. Mary had none of these comforts. And yet she had a husband who had risked his own reputation to obey God and to protect Mary and her Baby; she also had the promise of God that Jesus would be called "the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). She knew that though her Son's beginnings would be poor and humble, His end would be glorious—though she probably knew little of what would happen in the interim.

A Faithful Jewish Believer

Mary of Nazareth went from being a nice Jewish girl to being a devoted Jewish mother and, finally, a faithful Jewish believer. Of course, she'd always been a faithful Jewish believer in that she followed the Old Testament laws and customs as best she could, and trusted and believed in the God of Israel, even to the point of submitting to His word regarding the bearing of His Son on earth. But it took a little longer for her to fully comprehend all the implications of this Son's identity.

Yes, Mary knew of His unique conception and the many promises for His life, but she was also a mother who carried her Baby in her womb, bore Him in a stable, and raised Him in the fear and admonition of the Lord. She loved Jesus as any mother would love her son, and there must have been times when it was very difficult to separate what she knew had been promised about and through Him from the everyday existence of a mother-son relationship.

One of the most poignant scenes in all the Scriptures is when we see a brokenhearted Mary, standing at the foot of the Cross as she watched her beloved Son die a cruel and agonizing death. It was at that point that Jesus, though dying as the Savior of the world and still Lord of all, including Mary, reverted to His position as Mary's Firstborn and commended His mother's care to John, "the disciple whom He loved," who consequently "took her to his own home" (John 19:25-27). It was a precious and unselfish gift of love from a Son to His mother, and a vote of trust and confidence in the young disciple John as well.

And so we don't hear of or see Mary again until the first chapter of Acts, when she is gathered with the disciples in the upper room, continuing "with one accord in prayer and supplication" (v. 14). Mary, the nice Jewish girl and devoted Jewish mother, was now a faithful Jewish believer, still loving and longing for the Man-child who was her earthly Son but also worshiping the risen Lord He had proven Himself to be.

Mary had come full circle, fulfilling the calling of God on her life, beginning with submitting herself to whatever God had purposed "according to [His] word" and ending at that same place. She had been through a lot of joys and heartaches, troubles and triumphs, as all of us endure in our lifetimes. But spiritually, she was right where she needed to be—the place we all need to be, not only to fulfill our own destinies but those of our children as well.

***Adapted from Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today by Kathi Macias (New Hope Publishers, 2009).

***Kathi Macias is a radio host and award-winning author of 30 books, including the popular Extreme Devotion international fiction series from New Hope Publishers. To learn more about Kathi and her books/ministry visit www.kathimacias.com.