Lessons from Mary

The sun shines brightly outside, but there’s a chill in the air. A cold front has hit unexpectedly, and it will last a few days. The hope of an early spring has vanished quite rapidly. But, there is hope. Spring will come. Maybe not when we want, but it will come. There is an appointed time for each season, a beginning and an end. And with each season, there is a lesson to be learned, a step of faith to be taken, words to be spoken, and decisions to be made. And so also, these words have been waiting to make their mark. Here they are now. Maybe late for some, but right on time for others.

I’ve read the passage in Luke 1 over and over for some time now. How do I respond when the impossible is brought before me? Do I question it? Do I find excuses? Do I believe it and step out in faith?

Mary questioned it, and it’s no surprise. Nothing like that has been heard of before. And, her circumstances made the news sound hard to believe. Unmarried. Inexperienced. Living in a time and culture that condemned what was about to happen to her. This was not the most favorable of situations.

“How will this be” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” – Luke 1:34

And yet, she chose obedience. Complete surrender to God’s plan. Without any grumbling and with no complaints. Even though she could have…

“I am the Lord’s servant.” answered Mary. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38

Later in the passage, as Elizabeth confirms the angel’s message, Mary responds with a song of thanksgiving. Hope for the future and for what God will do fills her heart. She chooses to bring praise. And she does this before the plan even came to fruition. Believing the promise, Mary praises God for who He is, for what He has done and for what He will do.

The chapters that follow relate how the angel’s message came into being. How the impossible became possible. And how, choosing to obey and be faithful has brought about a bigger plan than one could imagine. Now, can I respond in the same way? Can you? As God’s servants, we will likely be called to things that look impossible from a human point of view. Things that are beyond our capabilities, beyond our schooling or strength. Things that might not make sense at times, but that are part of God’s greater plan. When that happens, choose to trust, to obey, to believe His promises. Don’t shy away from His calling. Do not let the fear of man stop you from living out God’s plan. People will talk. Roadblocks will come up. Situations will threaten to drown you, to stop you. But the One who has called you for this very thing is the One who will empower you, provide for you and clear the road for His plan to come to pass. He will also put the right people in your path to encourage you, support you and help guide you along the way. Wait upon His timing. And, as you wait, praise Him. Surrender completely to His will and obey His Word. For what He has said He will indeed bring to pass, in His time and in His way.

“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” – Luke 1:45

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