My favorite Christmas song is called Labor of Love. It’s by Andrew Peterson and features Jill Philips. They depict Mary’s labor that glorious night in the most beautiful and yet realistic way. Every Christmas since I’ve had sons, I think of Mary’s motherhood, of watching Jesus grow, watching his ministry, and then watching his blood spilled. I have a good cry about it each Easter imagining Mary’s anguish, but also her joy when she reached heaven and Jesus arms.
This Christmas, I have suddenly aware of the age of my daughter, she is just about the age Mary would have been when she was carrying Jesus. This realization has caused me to pray in a different way for her. I always pray for God’s plan for her life, but I’ve started praying for her to believe Him and hear Him. This prayer isn’t a distant future kind of prayer anymore; I realize her youth is an advantage. She doesn’t need to wait to be used, she just needs to listen and believe. She is not too young, in fact youth is her advantage in so many ways.
“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment
of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:35
Mary was used by God because of her unwavering belief. She didn’t know what would happen, but that didn’t change her heart toward God. She trusted him. That is why God chose Mary. She believed that God would fulfil what he said. Our belief in God holds us through when the promise doesn’t always look like what we expected.
For God to use our children, we also have to let him fulfil his promise. It’s tempting to manipulate their lives for our comfort. But I cannot pray for God to use her belief and then act like I have the plans. What can help me with this is keeping my eyes on eternity. It may seem like we are here forever, but we aren’t. We are passing through, and in this season I get to be her mother. God gifted and entrusted me with that job. She and I are both His children for eternity. She is my sister in Christ. It’s my job to point her to Jesus and trust Him, to believe Him for the fulfillment of His plans.
Father, keep my daughter. Don’t take her out of the world but keep her from the evil one. Keep me from standing in the way of her growth and the fulfilment of the plans you have for her. Let me keep eternity in mind and remember that children are arrows in our quivers. Arrows are meant to hit the mark, not stay always in the quiver.