Just recently I was babysitting for my pastor’s kids, something I always love to do because for one, they are awesome. We have a ton of fun laughing, playing, and having random dance parties to Mumford & Sons. The second reason is I get to see how, by the grace of God, my pastor and his wife are shaping who these kids are growing up to be, by being the parents God has called them to be. They don’t do this every other day or on the weekends; they are patient, faithful, loving parents who surrender their hearts daily, willingly giving both themselves and their kids to God.
Do they fail in this at times? Yes. All parents do. But they know they have a Father who is always patient, always faithful, and whose love will always hold them.
On my last adventure in babysitting after I had put the oldest two to bed, I was attempting to put the baby down and he simply would not let me. I would hold him in my arms, gently rock him until he was almost asleep, and then put him down in his crib where he would begin to cry like I had wounded him for life. I failed at this attempt three times, and found myself feeling completely helpless for this sweet baby boy who just wanted to be held.
In that moment I found myself thinking about Jesus. I looked down at this precious fragile life I was holding in my arms and I thought about the Savior who came down from Heaven not as a man, but as a helpless baby to save the helpless. Jesus himself was just as small and fragile in his mother Mary’s arms as this baby was in mine, and she held him just as I was holding this little boy now.
A tear fell down my cheek at the precious and beautiful truth that was being shown to me.
After the baby finally went down for the night and my pastor and his wife came home, I drove home with those thoughts still on my mind and heart. The next morning I made myself some coffee and I began reading and meditating on Luke, Chapters 1 and 2, in my Bible.
What always astounds me in Chapter 1 is Mary’s complete surrender to God’s will for her life. She held onto the promise that God would deliver and save His people and soon, she would hold that very Promise within her. Can you even imagine that?
When Mary surrendered her heart to God (Luke 1:38), her heart was willing to do all that God was calling her to. Are our hearts in ready surrender? Are we willing to do all that God is calling us to, regardless of how hard or confusing it all may be? Just think, Mary had no idea what was to come 33 years later in Jesus’ life, but she held onto God’s promise and treasured it in her heart (Luke 2:19).
There are so many passages in the Bible that are powerful. Luke 2:22-35 is another of those passages. In this passage Jesus is dedicated by his earthly parents to His heavenly Father. While they are presenting Jesus in the Temple, a righteous and devout man named Simeon, who the Bible says was waiting for the hope and rescue of God’s people just as Mary was, saw Jesus. He took him up in his arms (v. 28), and declared that God was finally going to fulfill that promise of salvation through the very child he was holding. Simeon held onto God’s promise and he was now holding the very Promise; the Savior of the world.
When God’s people hold onto Him, He holds onto them; He gives them His strength to run and not grow weary; to walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). When we hold onto Him, we are able to surrender to God’s will and willingly do all that He is calling us to.
The Christmas season is ending and I think we might be satisfied to say that we have been meditating on this for an entire month: that God sent Jesus His Son to earth to save all of mankind. But I think we sometimes forget to hold onto that truth the rest of the year.
Jesus came to seek and save us and from the beginning, He held onto us; never letting us go. Let us hold onto that promise as it continues to hold onto us.