A Lady in Waiting

This week’s Tuesday at Ten prompt is patience, and because of the time of year, my thoughts went to Mary. How patient she’d had to be throughout her pregnancy, knowing she was giving birth to the Son of God! What would He look like; the same as other babies or different? Did she search the pages of our Old Testament for clues?

And when He was born, Simeon came along – Simeon who’d had the revelation that he wouldn’t die until he’d seen the long-awaited Christ. Simeon cradled the babe in his arms, calling Him Saviour and the glory of all the Jews! Then he spoke to Mary: “A sword will pierce through your own soul also.” How did she feel when she heard that?

Words are so powerful – the negative and the positive, and those must have stayed with her all through Jesus’ life. We don’t hear anything of Joseph after the incident when Jesus was twelve years old. Perhaps Joseph died, and Mary wondered if that was the piercing Simeon spoke of.

Years passed and Jesus began His earthly ministry. Mary heard about the crowds and the demands on His time. Thinking Him out of His mind to accept it, she set out to speak to Him. The sheer volume of people made it impossible to reach Him, but finally, she caught someone’s attention. She may have heard them relaying the message, and heard Him say: “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Sting. Surely this must be the moment?

She couldn’t have imagined how bad it would get, the depth of her pain as she saw her Son lifted up on a cross. But that piercing of soul, that depth of pain, eclipsed by the joy of seeing Him alive. Unashamedly falling before Him, reaching out to cling to Him, even to one of His feet! He lived! He’d conquered death! This was unparalleled – awesome – daunting. What did it all mean? She knew only the words He spoke: “Tell My brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me,” but what would happen next, or how everything would fall into place, she couldn’t tell.

When we know only the next step, let’s be reassured that God knows our destination. Let’s keep those important words people have spoken over us and think on them, wonder at them, in the knowledge that God’s in control.

Wait for that Dream

Have you read any books by Holley Gerth?  Or maybe one of your friends has found some of her encouraging words and popped them in an E-mail.  Well, Holley’s doing a series on her blog this year, all about God-sized dreams.  I haven’t been great at participating, but I’m joining in this time as she’s asked us to find a God-sized dream story that inspires us, and write about it.

There are so many dreamers in the Bible, but the one I want to think about is Jacob.  He had a dream:  She was beautiful …  Her name was Rachel.  He met her one day when she was a shepherdess, looking after her father’s sheep.  Rachel was Jacob’s cousin and he was about to stay at her family-home.  By the time he’d been there a month, he was in-love with her, so when his uncle asked what wages he should give him, Jacob knew:  He wanted to take Rachel as his wife, and he agreed to work 7 years for the privilege.

What must those 7 years have been like?  Who did Jacob meet?  Were there other young women in town, and was Jacob very good-looking?  I wonder if anyone tried to persuade him not to wait 7 years for the one he loved …  But the Bible says very clearly that they seemed like just a few days to him because of his love for Rachel (Genesis 29:20).

Then it happened – the wedding day came, but his uncle Laban tricked him.  When it was dark, Laban gave Jacob his daughter – the other daughter; Rachel’s elder sister, Leah.  I wonder how Jacob felt when he woke up next to Leah.  Did the doubts come sweeping in?  Had the other girls been right all along – was this a door closed?  Because not everyone respects the one who waits.  Some people, when they don’t see instant results, will say:  “What if it’s not God’s will?” or:  “God can do anything, but …”

Do you know why Jacob inspires me?  Because he didn’t let anyone dampen his spirits.  He didn’t give up on his dream and just accept second-best.  He confronted his uncle.  “Didn’t I work to get Rachel?  Why did you trick me?” and the confrontation paid off.  Within a week, they were married and starting their life together.  Could it be that when you feel like giving up, the best is just around the corner?

I read this quote from Henry David Thoreau recently:  “Friends are kind to one another’s dreams.”  Don’t listen to the buts and the naysayers.  Hold tight to those friends who encourage you to dream big, … and wait for that dream.