Not My Will, But His

“Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is Heaven’s perfect lamb?”
(Mary Did You Know? Lyrics by Mark Lowry)

How much did Mary know about her firstborn’s ministry?

It was revealed to her that she would birth the Son of God, a King, but I wonder if she knew that He would be the lamb—the sacrifice, one who suffered unspeakable pain and sorrow.

If she did, would she have ever said, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, HCS)?

She probably had some understanding of her life’s challenges. After all, Simeon hinted to Mary that not all would be rosy (Luke 2:34–35), and she likely spoke with Jesus about his ministry as he grew, but did she have any idea the agony that lie in store for both of them?

I doubt it. How could she? She was still a child herself.

And even if she had been told every grimy detail, in her humanness, she likely could not have fathomed its extent.

My life also unfolded differently than expected. Looking back, I’m thankful I did not know the difficulties of the journey—the sadness that lay in store. Love, happiness, and satisfaction abound in motherhood but mingled in are death, disease, dreariness, frustration, and heartbreak.

Don’t Miss the Blessings

As Mary experienced, parenthood involves so much letting go: dreams, expectations, and even children. I wasn’t ready.

If I had known about the anguish of losing my precious unborn children or the initial devastation of realizing our sweet daughter had lifelong difficulties or the ongoing weight of caring for her, would I have said yes to being a mother?

If I had understood the exhaustion and the effort involved, would I have had the fortitude to travel this same path?

Not likely—“take this cup from me …” (Luke 22:42).

Although my alternative scripted life may have bypassed the suffering, in doing so, it would have missed the blessings as well. 

Although my alternative scripted life may bypass the suffering, in doing so, it misses the blessings as well. Click To Tweet

God had a plan; Mary obeyed. And as she stood at the foot of that cross, watching her grown son writhe in agony, did Mary want to take it all back? Did she want to rewind her life and change her mind? Maybe she felt she wasn’t the one for the job. Maybe she didn’t want to carry the burden of being the mother of God.

Perhaps such thoughts crossed her mind as the tears pooled at her feet and her heart shattered on that dark day at Golgotha.

Yet she trusted, probably not fully experiencing the joy of her calling or realizing the importance of her role until later, after Jesus revealed himself in His glory.

“… yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Blessings of Walking in His Will

God also has a plan for me. It will involve affliction, that’s a promise. Although I don’t like adversity, God has also promised to remain near, to redeem all circumstances—to provide me with a rich, blessed life in Jesus Christ.

I can obediently subscribe to His map as Mary did, growing and being transformed, walking by faith, or I can choose to develop my own, floundering under the weight of oppression and getting stuck in the mire and muck.

path

In faith, Mary walked the path laid out for her, one step at a time. Trusting there was a reason for the hardships.

We must believe that God also ordained our lives—that there is an eternal purpose to our suffering—and wait patiently for God to reveal it.

Only by following Christ to the cross, can we experience the richness of life and the glory of God’s plan.

Only by following Christ to the cross, can we experience the richness of life and the glory of God’s plan. Click To Tweet

 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us” (Luke 1:68–69).

Reflections: What about you? Did you know what to expect in your life? Did it play out as you had planned? Are there events or times you would have re-scripted given the chance?

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “Not My Will, But His
  1. I love looking back at my life and seeing how “differently” it “turned out” from what I had planned or imagined… the hand of God is all over it!

    Merry Christmas!!
    Ashley Pichea

  2. Melanie says:

    Beautiful post! I need to remember this… to always trust HIM, lean not unto my own understanding, and enjoy the plans HE has for me. Beautiful, beautiful post! Thank you!

    … thank you for your kind words on my post at inCourage. It’s so nice to “meet” you today! 🙂

    Blessings,
    Melanie

  3. Linda Thomas says:

    Julie, your post really tugged at my heart. Though I have not lost children, I can join you in saying, “My life also unfolded differently than expected. Looking back, I’m thankful I did not know the difficulties of the journey—the sadness that lay in store.” When I read your words, I again feel in my heart the pain of letting go of dreams and expectations. You’ve captured so well the torturing question: If I had known ahead of time, would I have said ‘yes’ to it? I cannot answer that question, not yet, at least. Thank you for the hope and encouragement you bring to your message: “Trusting there was a reason for the hardships.We must believe that God also ordained our lives—that there is an eternal purpose to our suffering—and wait patiently for God to reveal it.” Amen and amen. Your words and message are so full of blessing. Thank you!

    Linda

    • juliesunne says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Linda. I’m thankful my words touched you. I know you’ve been struggling, and I’m assuming it is with health issues. May this Christmas be one of experiencing the Savior’s presence in a tangible way, bringing you a measure of relief and comfort.

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