A parent’s life is not all strawberries and roses. Bills are to be paid, mouths are to be fed, and food is to be bought. Clothes are needed as the children grow, and a good job seems necessary for the parent to be successful. When we start “Living to Work”, instead of “Working to live”, our lives can get severely out of balance.
Someone put up a twitter post asking, “What type stress or anxiety did Christ go through during his life?” The tweet immediately prompted me to wonder what kind of stresses or anxieties Mary delt with, from the moment she carried Jesus in her arms until his crucifixion. What did she and Joseph go through as parents?
While family and friends were dancing, singing, laughing, and rejoicing in this newly arranged marriage, Mary at some point in time needed to reflect. For me it would be time to just take it all in. I can with full empathy understand the anxiety she must have been going through. A new marriage, a brand new chapter of life, is so exciting. Her parents had signed a contract and his family had paid the dowry. The festivities had just begun for her and Joseph. Family and friends were celebrating the fact that they were being united together as one by God! Everyone was so happy! Smiles on everyone’s faces!
As I see Mary alone in her home, I can smell the musky scent of the home. The floors are dirt but clean and tidy. I imagine her sitting on the floor praying when an angel appears to her saying, “Fear Not!” Her heart is racing as she looks at Gabriel. Her heart is pumping so hard she can feel every steady beat in her temples and her neck – she even thinks she hears the blood rushing through her body. I’m sure she can’t believe her eyes, but what comes out of Gabriel’s mouth next is shocking.
Gabriel says “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God!” How can this be? Is it possible that an angel from heaven is speaking to me? Is it possible that I, a virgin, could concieve and bear a child? Then more questions began to race through Mary’s mind. What will Joseph say? Will he believe her? What will others say?
This could cost her her life! In Biblical days women could be stoned to death for such an exhibition. In today’s society unwed pregnant women are dismissed as a cultural norm, but in biblical times it was considered deserving of death. I can only imagine how scared, anxious, and fearful Mary must have been.
We go through so many stresses in our daily lives. We try keeping up with The Jones’. We endure broken relationships with our families. We do so many things simply to hold it all together, and inevitably we fall into cycles of anxiety and depression. We’re losing our grasp on what really matters!
Every family has its share of cliff-hanger moments – ones that seems to have no solution. All of the struggles we face create an environment that fosters serious anxiety and depression. Believe it or not, worrying, anxiety, and depression are all sins.
Jesus said to look at the birds!
“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on… Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? …But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
He is telling us to give our worries to him. We should lay them all (worries, stresses, depressive thoughts, sadness’s etc.) before his feet and work on our relationship with him. In simple terms, “Give Them to God to Worry About!” Our prayer life is the root that feeds our relationship, and as it grows our entire lives will begin to change. We only need the faith the size of a tiny mustard seed to move mountains. Once we begin to pray and talk to our Heavenly Father on a daily basis our strength and faith will grow. Then our lives will start to change without the coveting, jealousy, and sorrowful feelings. Jesus will instead fill us up with joy, hopes, and dreams. Jesus laid all of His worries before his Father’s feet long before the crucifixion where he paid the price for our sins, and because of that we are free!
We must first accept him as savior and build a relationship with him through prayer. He was tempted but he never succumbed to the temptation. It’s that simple with us. If a problem, bad feeling, or something else is presented in our lives that involves suffering in some form or fashion, we can start by allowing God to help us make decisions.
Mary and Joseph were good parents and just as many parents today they had trials and tribulations. Like Mary did, we too must ask and accept. Mary accepted God’s will for her life, and leaned on Him for strength. Let us do the same. Lay at His feet everything that bothers you. Tell him that you accept His plan for your life, and ask Him to hold your hand and take the lead. He is your Father!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”