The day I finally saw two pink lines on a pregnancy test, I held my breath. Could this be true? I wondered. My husband and I had trudged through two long years of infertility and were crushed by ghost lines, false positives, and dashed hopes. We longed for a child more than anything else.
On my way to work, I stopped by the doctor’s office for a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. The doctor told me to call in later for the results. I went through the motions of teaching poetry and grading papers, but all I could think about was the possibility that I was pregnant. At my first opportunity, I called the doctor’s office and I will never forget the nurse’s response as she looked over my results. She said, “Well it’s very early, but you are pregnant.”
Later that day, I saw my husband. You’d think that after all those months of waiting, I would have done a dramatic pregnancy reveal with balloons and clever word play, but I was so shocked that I just blurted out, “I’m pregnant!” We sat together, amazed.
We estimated that our baby was the size of the period at the end of this sentence and yet she was already our greatest joy. We talked about what our lives would look like as a mom and dad. We thanked God for granting our relentless request. And then we went to the store to buy the coziest baby blanket on the planet.
Learning from Mary’s Pregnancy Reveal
When Mary was newly pregnant and just arriving at the home of her cousin, Elizabeth, she did have a dramatic pregnancy reveal. Upon seeing the expectant Mary for the first time, Elizabeth felt her own baby (John) leap in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth exclaimed a blessing upon Mary that affirmed everything the angel had promised to her.
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Luke 1:42-45).
Mary replied with a stunning song of praise that has become known as “The Magnificat”:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty he has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever” (Luke 1:46-55).
Mary’s thoughts on pregnancy are so different from mine! It’s understandable if you and I respond to pregnancy differently than Mary; after all, she was carrying the Messiah and that changes things. But Mary’s song reminds us that there is a treasure available to all mothers— all people— and we’d be wise to receive it. Her song celebrates truths that you and I are meant to cherish in our own hearts; they are meant to shape our own pregnancies and motherhood.
The Supreme Treasure of Motherhood
When Mary sang that God had done great things for her, she wasn’t talking about the fact that she was merely pregnant; she was talking about the fact that through this pregnancy, God would rescue the whole world. She rejoiced that God had seen and cared for His people, that He had shown His strength, and had sent the long-awaited Savior – Jesus, Immanuel, “God with us,” the Messiah.
Mary had a high and holy view of God. She recalled that He has always been at work through all generations: He has always brought down the mighty and exalted the humble; He has always sent away the rich and filled the hungry with good things; He has always helped His people, shown mercy, and kept His promises. And He always will. As a newly expectant mother, Mary cherished these magnificent truths as the foundation for the joys and sorrows that awaited her down the road. Her song teaches us that the supreme treasure of motherhood is God himself— the God who governs and saves humanity.
Mary saw herself on a timeline of millions of people— some proud and mighty, others humble and hungry— all in God’s sovereign hand. Of all people, Mary had good reason to focus exclusively on herself and her experience in becoming a mother. Instead, she thought about the generations of people who had been waiting for the Messiah to come. She thought about the generations to come who would be so relieved at His coming they would call her “blessed” simply because she was His mother. She saw herself— and her child— in the context of all of history, from God’s first covenant with Abraham into the future where you and I sit, needing God to help us in the 21st Century.
What if we saw ourselves on the timeline of history — preceded by millions of people and preceding millions more — people in all manner of circumstances, cultures, customs, and languages, all of us under God’s watchful eye, in His powerful hand, secure in His embrace, and part of His epic story of redemption?
Can you imagine yourself there, holding your child in your arms?
When I situate myself in Mary’s song, I feel small yet significant at the same time. I am struck by God’s greatness and by the epic proportions of our human story. Mary’s song is the perspective I need to get up in the morning. It loosens my white-knuckled grip on life and helps me to love and serve my children. I develop the gifts I have, offer what I can, and believe that God will do much more with my humble offerings than I can imagine.
Take some time today to pray about how the truths in Mary’s song shed light on your life.
About the Author:
Laura loves to share practical applications of the Bible as she encourages women in their walk with Jesus. She received a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in English Literature from the University of Richmond, an M.A. in English Literature from Penn State University, and a Certificate in Women’s Ministry from Westminster Theological Seminary. Laura serves as the Coordinator of Women’s Ministry at Oakwood Presbyterian Church in State College, PA. She lives with her husband and 5 (going on 6) children on a beautiful farmette in Pennsylvania where they raise some chickens, host campfire parties, read lots of books, and cheer for the Nittany Lions. Connect with Laura at www.LauraBooz.com.