Since becoming a mother some 30+ years ago, I often find myself wondering at CHRISTmas time, what it must have been like to be Mary, the mother of JESUS. I've thought how absolutely overwhelming it must have been to be a young teenage girl about to be married and suddenly learn you are going to have a child, not by your husband, but by the Holy Spirit! I wondered how she told Joseph and how she told her parents, what they must have said, and the sting of the rumors which must have swirled around her home as neighbors and friends heard the preposterous news. How frightened she must have been that lonely night in Bethlehem with only Joseph to attend her as she wrestled through the pains of giving birth. No anesthesia, no mid-wife, no mother to hold her hand. Just she and Joseph, the man she had not even yet known in an intimate way, yet here he was delivering her baby. And, not only any baby, but the Son of God!
Luke 2: 19 is one of my favorite verses of the CHRISTmas story. It says "....but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." That verse reveals to us just how human Mary was. She may have been highly favored by God, she may have been the mother of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but she was still a MOTHER.
So today, the day after CHRISTmas, I wonder what Mary and Joseph did the day after Jesus' birth? When the shepherds were gone back to the fields, the angels were gone back to Heaven and outside the stable, life went on in Bethlehem as usual, what did Mary and Joseph do?
Scripture is silent about those immediate days following Jesus' birth. It does not pick up again til he was eight days old. I believe in my mother's heart, that God allowed them those few days to just be Mommy and Daddy...to hold Jesus close to their heart, to sing to Him, to rock Him, to drink in the sweet fragrance of that new baby skin. God knew what would lay ahead for this Son of His. He knew that Herod would seek to kill Him. He knew that some 30 years later he'd begin his public ministry. But for those few short days, I believe that God just allowed them to enjoy their baby boy before He was shown to anyone or known by anyone.
God is just sweet like that. He understands us. He cares about how we feel. He understands the deepest longings of our heart and He delights in giving good gifts to us. Mary was highly favored of God. He knew her heart and as she pondered all that had happened to her, as she thought about this miracle she was holding in her arms, He gave her the gift of time to be alone with her baby for a short time.
Has God been sweet to you lately? Maybe you haven't had the time to notice. But He is so incredibly sweet! That is not a word that is often associated with God, but I tell you it is a word that just describes Him to me. Maybe it's because that is a word we use often here in the south. When someone does something really nice for us, it is common for us to say "Oh Darling...that was so sweet of you!!" So I guess it comes naturally to me, a good old southern girl, to find myself saying often "Oh God...that was so sweet of you!! You didn't have to do that for me, but you did!! Thank you!"
Those "sweet" blessings are what I call my "truffles from God". Psalm 63: 14 says "So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food [what better rich food than truffles?!]; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips." That says to me that God satisfies me with lots of SWEET things, things that are rich and delightful like truffles.
God has blessed me with several dear friends from our Bible study that are just a delight to be around. They make me laugh, they encourage me and together we lift each other up and pray for each other. I have had so much fun with them this past year, that I've actually dubbed them "my Truffles"...and they are. They are a sweet blessing from the Lord and I treasure them.
But they are not my only truffles. God constantly does things for me and blesses me in so many ways. So I think I'm going to try to keep a list in 2011 of all the "sweet" things that God does for me. And, maybe at the end of the year, I'll share some of those with you! Maybe you will want to even start a list of your own. I think it would amaze you if you did!
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