Imagine you were Mary, Jesus’ mother. Imagine the joy of His birth. The pleasures: watching His first steps; hearing His first words; His intelligence and quick learning;
His wisdom and kindness as He grew into a young Man. You felt the wrench of your heart as His independence grew and He no longer needed you as much—as He left home and travelled from place to place, trying to teach people about the love of God. He had a passion and intensity about Him that you loved—even as you had to defend Him against friends and family who found Him a little odd. And the miracles—amazing! The things your Child could do!
And then the confusion. Church leadership turned against Him. The knot in Mary’s stomach when they arrested Him on serious charges! I’m sure as a mother she’d prayed for
her Son every day of her life but now those prayers had a tone of urgency and fear. I’m sure she believed God would care for Him, keep Him safe. After all, he was God’s Child! Surely God needed Him, doing the great things He was doing!
Imagine the sick ache in the pit of her stomach as she watched her beloved Boy, broken and bleeding, staggering under the weight of that cross of shame. Watch as she fought her way through the dense crowd, to stay as close as she could—longing to reach out and touch His face—to kiss His forehead, to pour love from her eyes into His. But He was wrenched from her. Her body shuddered with sobs as the hammer rang out on the nails. Exhausted, she clung to her place, as near as she could be, until His final breath.
What mother could bear the weight of that terrible pain? Her hopes died with Him. How could He be the Saviour that the angel had promised now He was dead? Why hadn’t God done something? So many prayers! So many people praying. Did God not hear them? Did they not believe enough? Were they too sinful?
Brokenness. Intense disillusionment. Where was God when he’d been needed most?
Now follow God, Jesus’ Father, for a moment. He’d watched His Son with pride as He accomplished each step of His mission. He’d nurtured Him, encouraged Him, helped Him to stand strong against the evil one who was determined to end Him in His human frailty. But now, at the very end, when His precious Son needed Him most—children of God, when the devil was laughing in His face and beating His Boy to a pulp—He had to allow it to happen. He had to stand silent.
While prayers from tortured hearts, like those from Mary, tore at Him, He could not give them what they wanted. So He stood in terrible silence, willing His Son to be strong! And at Jesus’ last breath, His grief—mixed with finality and fury at the cost—thundered in the heavens, shook the earth and ripped the divide between God and man apart forever!
God is good. His love for His Child is beyond anything we know. And that includes you! You are His child! He loves you with a deep and reckless love. He hears your prayers. Those deep, gut-felt prayers that cry out from your soul. He feels your pain. He answers, in wisdom and deepest love—not always the way we’d hoped but always in His mind is the hope to bring His children home, as many as absolutely possible. To a home beyond this world of pain. And sometimes that means He can’t answer us the way we beg him to. Even though His heart breaks for us. And although every child’s story is a big deal to Him, He must make moves to fulfil that bigger story.
Never think that God hasn’t heard your prayers or He doesn’t care. If He hasn’t given the gift you’ve ached for, be very sure, there is a bigger reason.
Tanya Caldwell is a wife and mother of two teenagers, and blogs her “Morning Musings with God” at www.caldwlmt.wixsite.com/reflections.