In the waiting…


I’ve often wondered if Mary would look at our “holiday” of Good Friday and feel pain in her heart for what she went through on that day so many centuries ago. It wasn’t a good day for her. Obviously I’ve never met her, but I feel I can confidently say that this day that we refer to as Good Friday was the worst day of her life.

She endured a pain that day that no mother should ever feel. She witnessed a horror that no human should ever be subject to, much less watch that horror unfold on her first born child.  History shows us she was a woman of faith. The fact that she was chosen to carry, birth & raise the Messiah should speak enough to her relationship with God.

Mary witnessed the growth of her son. His growing into a man and growing into His calling of Savior of the world. She was a first hand witness to His first miracle. And I’m sure was witness to many others. Can you imagine the conversations when Jesus would return from long journeys with His disciples between the mother & son? I’m sure her heart filled with joy to hear her Son tell of living his life so completely surrendered and carrying out God’s plan here on earth.

But did she always have in the back of her mind that knowing of what was to come? She knew she birthed a child that would ultimately experience the cruelest of deaths to save the world. Did she ever have secret conversations with God asking him to spare her precious son? Did she ever want to interfere and maybe try to redirect Jesus knowing what he would face? We mamas always want God’s best for our kids. But if we knew that God’s best was what Jesus would endure, would our faith stand? Would our trust waiver?

I know that in the deepest part of Mary’s heart she knew. She knew that God’s promises were true. She knew that Jesus would do what he said he would do. But as that day approached, did her heart want to just steal him away to a place where no one would find him? Did she just want to save him? He was 33, but he was her baby, her first born. That instinctual thing that we mamas have to protect our children…did that kick in for her? How hard must it have been to fight that instinct and trust!

As Jesus went before Pilate and he took the coward’s way out, turning Jesus’ fate over to the people, did she begin to experience the deepest grief a mother can feel? As He began to receive the beating, as the heavy cross dropped on His weakened shoulders, as the crown of thorn was driven into His skull, did she begin to question God? Y’all, I’d have past questioning God about the time Pilate acted a fool and Peter denied knowing Him and been so angry with God by the time that long walk to Golgotha began. How did her mama’s heart feel?

As any loving mama, she pushed aside the pain watching Him suffer & die would bring her and stayed with him until the end. Until he was wrapped in the shroud and placed in a borrowed tomb, she stayed.

In her heart, I believe that she still clung to just a thread of trust that God would redeem this. I believe that to somehow numb the pain & grief of what her son went through she HAD TO BELIEVE that Jesus would rise on that third day. She had to or she surely would have become completely overcome by grief. She waited, in hiding with Jesus followers, wondering if their lives would be next. God never promised them safety from those that placed Jesus on that cross. They spent those days in grief and fear for what was in store for them.

I know that nothing most of us have faced (or will face) in life compares to watching your first born child beaten and hung on a cross to die. But all of us go through the hard things. The things that either we bring on ourselves or life just deals us. There’s a waiting between when that hard thing is placed on us and when we see it redeemed. In that waiting we have a choice. Are we clinging to the promise that God redeems the hard things like Mary? Or are we acting on our own to redeem it our way?

It’s hard in the waiting. We know that our redemption is coming, but what we wait through to get to it is hard. It can strip the life right out of us if we let it. It can rob us of joy and cause us to forget that God is good. It can cause us to forget that, if we can just hold on, when the hard thing is redeemed we experience our own kind of resurrection.

Jesus didn’t just go to the cross and WIN to only gift us heaven. Our redeeming comes in the every day.  In the dream fulfilled after struggle and loss. In the relationship restored after pain and separation. In that hard thing that makes no sense until you walk out on the other side and see how God redeemed it.

If you’re living in your own Good Friday right now, where it’s hard, it doesn’t make sense, where you wonder if God really does see where you are and have a plan, where tomorrow seems unbearable…you have a resurrection and redemption day ahead.  Just like Mary, cling to the thread of hope you have left until you see that hard thing redeemed. It may not be in 3 days, but it’s coming.

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