But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. –1 Peter 2:20 (NIV)
Do you ever wonder what you have done wrong that is causing you to endure so many trials in life? Even though it is a good place to start, because it is important to analyze our alignment with God, it is not where we should stop. Once God reveals to you any sin in your life and you make an about face turn, it’s time to consider what you have been doing right.
Let’s examine the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The minute she said, Yes Lord the battle was on. I bet this God-fearing mild mannered teenage girl had no idea just how much hardship she would have to endure because of a single act of obedience. Actually, the trials came instantaneously at the onset of the Immaculate Conception. Since she was unwed and pregnant she ran the risk of being stoned to death. At full term she had to take a donkey ride from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for a census. Even though Mary was “highly favored and the Lord was with her” (Luke 1:26), she received no royal treatment. As a matter of fact, she had to give birth to the King of Kings in an unsanitary stinky stable amidst farm animals. If that were not enough, as Jesus was still a newborn, she was awoken by Joseph in the middle of the night and was told that they had to run away to Egypt because there was an impending death threat on Jesus’ life. Then at the age of twelve he went missing. After frantically searching for Him, He was found after 3 days. The only thing He had to say for himself was “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). In no way was He being disobedient or disrespectful, He simply had a spiritual understanding that was superior to that of His mother’s. As Jesus was about 30 years of age a very pivotal point occurred as He was baptized. “Heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”” (Luke 3:21-23). I could just hear Mary saying, Yep, that’s my boy…since he is the apple of God’s eyes, maybe we’ll have a reprieve from all the drama. Although in Luke 4:1-2 we see just the opposite as Jesus “was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil”. He went 40 days without a bite of food. I’m sure she probably was thinking, when does this end, why can’t we just live a normal life? Little did she know that the next three years of life would be brutal. During this time span she watched her son from the sidelines as the trials escalated from ridicule to persecution to the worst physical torture known to mankind. Throughout His lifespan, even though she did not quite understand, the Word says she “treasured all these things in her heart”. (Luke 2:51)
Lord, minister to my weary heart. The next time I say, “Why me, Lord” please remind me that my statement should be, “Why not me, Lord” for the sake of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.