Did Mary Worry?

by Nancy Jo Sullivan

Most of us have worries. Now that the first snow has fallen, I’m worried about slipping on the ice. I’m also worried about the rates on my car insurance, my upcoming colonoscopy, and the non-stop drip from my bathroom faucet. I’m worried that my grown children don’t eat well.

I’ve memorized all those great passages about worry. Do not worry about your living…Look at the birds of the air…Consider the lilies… These spiritual reflections are lovely, aren’t they? But like so many people, I don’t like the idea of surrender. I like knowing that I can manage my life on my own, thank you very much.

MaryYet during Advent, I find myself wondering if Mary ever had moments of worry.

After Gabriel announced that she would become the mother of God, Mary traveled to Elizabeth’s hillside home. It can’t have been an easy journey for her. It was about 100 miles of rugged terrain. It would’ve taken Mary about a week to get there, maybe longer. She would’ve had a lot of time to think and maybe even worry about all that lay ahead. Did she ever feel overwhelmed with the role she was about to play in God’s plan of salvation? Did she worry about her relationship with Joseph? Did she ever look up to the heavens and ask, “Who will believe my story?”

It’s impossible to know what Mary’s thoughts were. But when she arrived at Elizabeth’s home, she did something that speaks volumes about her faith. In the presence of her cousin, Mary proclaimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Luke 1:46–47).

It’s an image of complete trust and surrender. Though Mary had much to worry about, praise flowed freely from her heart. God was in control.

During this blessed season, Mary beckons each of us to surrender our lives to God. She reminds us to be joyful, even in times of uncertainty. She shows us that the best way to combat worry is to sing a song of praise.

Are you a worrier? Consider the lilies. Consider Mary. And trust in the Lord.

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

Nancy Jo Sullivan is the author of several books, including Small Mercies: Glimpses of God in Everyday Life. She is a frequent speaker at both the local and national levels. Sullivan lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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December 12, 2013

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WriterLinda (Linda G) December 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

If it is your bathtub tap, try shutting the taps off after a shower and then turning the shower tap (not the tub taps) on and letting it drain for an hour. Then shut it off and it should be okay. If not it needs help.

Otherwise it is my maternal familial requirement to worry constantly and especially about anything out of our control. My grandmother said she was born the day they handed out fear — this from a woman who clung for a long lifetime onto the hem of Christ’s garment and prayed her rosary constantly. My mother worried about things that could never happen. It seems to be inherited.

Being human is a two edged sword.

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