By the time Jesus was crucified, Mary had spent 33 years trusting God through all kinds of experiences with her son. The second time we are told she “treasured” uncertain circumstances was after preteen Jesus went missing for three days. Worried and anxious, Mary scolded her boy. “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Jesus knew that his mom was clueless about his destiny and basically told her so. Nevertheless, he continued his life as an obedient son, and “his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2.51)
While none of us has Jesus for a kid, we do have kids with a God-given destiny. When our older children make decisions we don’t understand, sometimes it’s best for them if we quietly treasure the moment rather than impose all of our anxiety upon them. Faith requires that we wait patiently for God’s plan to unfold.
This is especially true when God decides our children will leave the earth before us. Mary stood by as her son was executed. Trusting God’s eternal plan was her only option.
Somehow, I felt this deeply on December 26, 1998 the day our daughter Victoria Hope was born and died. That night, as I sat alone in bed, I worshipped God with my hands raised. Treasuring the moment, I recited the words of Job: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1.21)
This calm acceptance of God’s will was a supernatural experience that I consider often when I am tempted to fret. I am sorry Victoria is not here to celebrate her birthday every Christmas season, but the peace I felt that night was a gift to me, a treasure that helps me through the many mysteries of motherhood.
For anyone grieving a child right now; for those whose children face an uncertain future; for all of those riding some uncomfortable donkey to who knows where; for those who feel homeless, and helpless, and itchy on a bed of hay in the dark of night, treasure it as God’s gift. His incredible, eternal plan is unfolding.