The name Mary comes from the Biblical spice Myrrh which when tasted is bitter. However, when this same spice is used to anoint something in order to offer it up on an altar to God and then burnt, it releases a sweet smelling aroma, which is very pleasing to God.
Now, let’s look at two different Mary’s. The first Mary encounters numerous hardships, abuses, etc. She does struggle to get through her life without having a hard and bitter heart and for the most part succeeds. But as life goes on and the bad things keep happening she allows her heart to becomes hard and bitter. The Lord prompts her over and over to forgive and forget but she doesn’t. As she becomes an old lady it is apparent to everyone that knows her that she is a bitter old woman with which few people like to be around.
The second Mary encounters just as many hard times as the first, maybe even more. However, there is one major difference between these two women. The second Mary gives her heart and soul to the Lord and when He prompts her to forgive and forget she does. It is hard for her to do this, as her grievances are many. But as she gives her burdens to the Lord she finds them to be light and easy to place upon the altar. This is her incense which she places on the altar and it is indeed pleasing to the Lord.
This is not to make it sound like the second Mary had it easier because she had Jesus as her Savior. Probably in some ways she had it even harder. But as a Christian given over to the will of the Lord His presence in her heart and life made it easier for the second Mary to deal with the situations of her life. The first Mary could have made this decision is she had so chosen to at any time or stage in her life.
Now does any Mary, or anyone for that matter give everything over to the will of the Lord. No. We all strive to do so and at times we really do but those times don’t last because we are made of flesh. The Lord knows that. Keeping that in mind He looks at Mary’s heart as though it was stayed on Him never wavering because His heart stays true and unwavering towards her.
Rom. 12:1. I beseech you … present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy, acceptable to God