No different than mothers today, I’m guessing those moms strongly desired to protect their sons from suffering, especially death. They understood a greater cause was at hand, a war to fight and defend their country. Their individual sacrifice meant others could live in freedom. Though not easy, this required a mom letting go of her son to serve out his purpose and give his life on behalf of others for the cause of peace. When I ponder that, I’m reminded of Gen. 3:16, the words our Creator spoke to the first woman on earth following the Fall: “I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish.” As it was with those mothers recognized in 1910, every mom since Eve has known pain and anguish at some level over their children. Thankfully, God does not leave us alone in our suffering, but He offers His redeeming grace.
Though Mother’s Day is meant to be a day to celebrate and honor Mom, the notion of loss seems to still permeate this holiday. If your mom is still living and you have a great relationship with her, then you celebrated something precious. On the other hand, if sadness or anger saturated your heart on Mother’s Day due to some form of loss, then my prayer is that you find comfort in the presence and work of Jesus the Savior. He knows firsthand the suffering associated with loss and death, and chose to sacrifice His own life to conquer that which affects us all.
Mary, the chosen earthly mother of Jesus, could have related to those mothers who had lost sons to war. From the beginning, Mary was informed of her firstborn son’s purpose:
“Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed-- and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)
She was an ordinary mom, desiring to protect her son from suffering, yet she was required
to let Him go with the understanding a greater cause was at stake. Her son fought a war against the vilest of enemies. His sacrifice accomplished His Heavenly Father’s will and purpose. This purpose changed Mary’s mother-son relationship with Jesus and it ultimately changed her life eternally. Christ spoke of this transition from physical family to spiritual family when He clarified, “My mother and My brothers are those who hear and do the Word of God.” (Luke 8:21)
Though Jesus honored His mother, His resolve was to glorify His Heavenly Father. He enacted His Father’s plan of redemption in willing submission to suffering and death. It was Jesus, God’s only Son, who fought and won the final battle of pain, sin, and death. This victory was confirmed through His glorious resurrection reminding us that Jesus is the Hero of God’s Story.
For a believer in Christ, saved by God’s grace, this is Good News. It’s this Good News of the Gospel and Christ’s faithful love that can carry us through the tough losses on earth and bring us peace. Though special holidays meant to be a celebration may not be easy or pain-free, may you trust the Redeemer for your family relationships and place your faith and hope in Jesus the Savior. Be encouraged that God cares for you and enables you to endure difficulty by the power of His Spirit. Now that’s something worth celebrating!
For He is our peace…When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the Good News of peace to
you who were far away and peace to those who were near. (Ephesians 2:14a, 17)