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Miles to Go—The Hope of Sunday


By Marianne Miles

I spoke with a special needs mom this morning whose son is going in for autism testing. She asked me to pray for them as a family. Her words reminded me of our own family’s history of pain due to our son’s dysfunctions. Jon is now a young adult who, one would hope, is past malicious treatment, but about a year ago we suffered the worst hurt yet when he was abused by church leaders—a Golgotha experience.

I wondered how I could comfort this young mom when I knew what lay ahead for her and her son. I thought of Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Do you remember that she quaked at the foot of the cross as her Son suffered? As a mother, do you not know she felt the thorns pierce her brow as she looked at the blood dripping down His? How was she able to actually stand on her own two feet as she watched his rib bones stretch and heard the wheeze of pain in his voice as he tried to find a breath?

How did she make sense of this horrid outcome of her son’s life when the road started out with so much promise? Do you remember that she saved up the memories of the shepherds, the kings, and the prophets in the temple where Jesus was circumcised—all of whom spoke of her humble babe as the Messiah, the long awaited King? Don’t you know she mentally recounted these incidents as she spun wool while the boy Jesus worked in the carpenter shop? Did she ever once think that He would one day be crucified?

I have two pertinent questions in all of this, how does a mother prepare a child for such an inevitable experience of suffering, and should I even tell this mom that a Golgotha experience awaits her and her son? Should I tell you?

The first question is easily answered but difficult to do. Consistent efforts must be made to introduce your child to the Man of Sorrows. Jesus knows suffering. A special needs child will have lonely days, we all do, but especially a child of challenges. His parents can “be there” for him many times, but only God can comfort a crushed heart.

To make that introduction, you must know Jesus yourself. Pursue Him and you will find Him. Seek His face and He will be found. Take your child to the throne with you and train him to do the same alone. Pray for your child to continue to go with God when the days grow dark. This is his best defense.

The second question holds certain sorrow. Dare I tell you that your own Friday of crucifixion awaits? No, I won’t. Not without a promise of Sunday morning.

As Mary swayed below her Son on that terrible Friday, could she have known there was purpose in His death? Did she realize her own eternal existence was being sealed with Him as He was laid in the tomb? I know one thing, she still expected Him to be dead when she went to the tomb on Sunday or she would not have brought the spices to lie on the body. About that, she was wrong.

He had risen! Did you know she was one of the first to see Him resurrected? He appeared to her, His mother, who had long hoped to see Him come into His kingdom. And she did.

Her pain in watching Her Son suffer had been worse than the pain she knew in His birth. I know this from our own Golgotha experience. But Mary’s supreme pain ended on Sunday morning, when the purpose of His suffering was complete. Do you see that at that moment her joy was exceedingly great? Far more than and in wonderful contrast to the traumas she had suffered.

This is my own hope—to see my own son rise again in spirit and heart. I will know the purpose behind the sorrow we have suffered when that “Sunday Moment” arrives.

There is great pain in this life. Sometimes it seems unendurable. As a mother watching a child suffer, especially by those who pose as “righteous”, the agony is amplified many times over. It is a wonder how any of us get through it.

However, I have realized that I can stand, as did Mary, at my bleeding son’s feet with unbelievable endurance. My knees are strengthened and my capacity for pain expanded by the confidence I have that Jesus’ love will pull my son and me through. On that glorious morning our joy will be so great, the pain will seem to have been nothing.

©2011 Marianne Miles. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

*Copyrighted back columns are available for reading in archives of Comfort Cafe. Contact Marianne for reprint availability.

Marianne Miles is a free lance writer intent on bringing comfort to mom’s of special needs kids. As she and her husband raised their children, including a son with special needs, Marianne developed a passion to support hurting mothers. Her message revolves around the love and provision of God, even in times of trial. Marianne has worked as a volunteer in the public schools, home school mom, and a teacher in a private school. She writes on the subjects of family and education in the form of devotionals, magazine articles, and poetry. Marianne welcomes reader’s comments and publisher’s questions at Marianne_Miles@yahoo.com.