I LOVE this time of year and all the JOY that is brings. We get to celebrate the birth of our Savior!
Mary is probably one of my favorite women in the bible. Not only was she the mother of Jesus but an incredible woman of obedience and faith. Over the past couple of days in my quiet time, I have been studying the first chapter of Luke. The power that comes from this story encourages my heart and I pray that this Christmas season it encourages yours as well. Mary was a poor, young female chosen by God for one of the most important acts of obedience He has ever demanded of anyone.
“Don’t be afraid Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found FAVOR with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus.” -Luke 1:30-31
I think a lot of times we think Gods favor brings instant fame and success. Praying for favor over our lives becomes a part of our daily prayer but there are many times we fail to realize the power of what we are praying. God bestowed a blessing on Mary that would make her the mother of the Messiah who would save the whole world! What favor!! But the favor and blessing would lead her down a road of full of pain; the people around her would ridicule her, her fiance would come close to leaving her, and her son would be rejected and murdered. Her heart would hurt and she would cry many tears. But what did Mary do? She fully submitted to the Masters plan because she knew that through her son was the worlds only HOPE. There are many times in our lives that we are faced with much pain and sorrow, falling to our knees begging God to take it away. There are many sleepless nights and questions of “why?” What if YOUR pain was the only way through which someone found their HOPE.
Reflecting on this past year, to be honest, I have walked down some roads of pain, things my mind can’t understand. Over these past few mornings, God has really given me a greater perspective on the valleys of pain He takes us through and going into 2014 I want to respond like Mary. My prayer isn’t for God to remove the pain but to make my heart like Mary’s; submitting and waiting for God to fulfill His purpose. If pain is preparation for His promise, I’ll praise Him all the way through because I know He is good and He will finish the work He has started in me.
May my words and my heart’s desire be that of Mary’s…
“I am the Lords servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” -Luke 1:38. She believed [faith] with her whole heart despite the risks that came with the promise God had given her. She didn’t question. She didn’t ask for a way out, she willingly obeyed. She couldn’t see the entire plan and destiny God had for her, the tremendous opportunity she would have, all she knew is God was asking her to serve Him and she obeyed.
“You are blessed, because you believed the Lord would do what He said.” -Luke 1:45. She believed the angels words and agreed to bear the child even under humanly impossible circumstances. What FAITH Mary shows. Your promise, your desire, your dream may seem impossible but all you have to do it believe and watch God bring it to pass. You don’t have to understand, just TRUST in a God who loves you so much.