Coming up on this Christmas weekend I can’t help but consider sweet, little Mary and her child-like faith. She was just a child according to our standards today, most likely 12-14 at the time of the angel’s visitation. So much of me wants to shelter my almost 12 year old. The idea that she has had to go through something so awful at such a young age makes me so sad sometimes, but I continue to pray that she overwhelmingly conquers this hurdle of her life and is able to see how God turns it around for good.
Mary was chosen to birth the Savior of the World. What a blessed assignment! When she said “Yes” to this call, she was saying much more than “Yes” to the honor of raising the God-child. She was saying “Yes” to ridicule for being pregnant out of wedlock. She was saying “Yes” to her beloved fiance’s misunderstanding, hurt, and near divorce*. She was saying “Yes” to leaving her home and family as she and Joseph fled for the life of Jesus when King Herod tried to kill Him. She was saying “Yes” to watching her Son become a rabbi that people had much to say about – good and bad. She was saying “Yes” to seeing her other children turn against Jesus and think He was crazy. She was saying “Yes” to watching her Beautiful Son be tortured at the hands of Pontius Pilate and “Yes” to seeing Him take His last breath on the cross.
When God calls us – and you are called, if you are an actual Christian – it isn’t always glamorous. In fact, it involves much persecution and difficulty. Each calling is important and we, as a group, are the Lovely Bride of Christ that is the new “woman” carrying the promise of His next coming to earth. He needs us to say “Yes” to the call. As you ponder this big assignment, consider all the wonderful things that Mary was able to take part in…
the encouragement from her family through Elizabeth who knew she was pregnant with the Lord and that Mary was exceedingly blessed as God’s chosen person to do this,
hearing many others testimonies about Jesus being the promised Savior – e.g. Joseph’s amazing turn around from the angel who came to him to stop him from leaving her and reveal the truth of what she said, Anna at the temple when Jesus was just a baby, and the visit of the Magi – to name a few,
watching hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah unfold in the life of her Son,
seeing her Son preach the truth of the Kingdom of God, healing everyone who came to Him, transforming lives left and right, casting out demons, and even raising the dead,
hearing of the extraordinary news of Jesus’ own resurrection and then seeing Him again,
experiencing the dramatic turn around of her other children’s affection toward Jesus and even their acceptance of Him as Messiah and, in James, the calling to lead the church in Jerusalem for the Gospel of Jesus Christ… the Gospel of her Son. I mean, if she drove a mini-van her bumper sticker, “My son is… “, would take the cake!
This is only a glimpse of the wonderful things that Mary was able to experience because she was just brave and innocent enough to say “Yes!” and believe that if God Almighty said it, He was able to do it. We need this kind of faith, Church! The kind of faith that is willing to fall flat on its face.
My prayer for you today is that you will be willing to say “Yes!” to what He’s asking you to do for Him and trust that no matter how impossible it looks, He is well able to do it. That you will be filled with the bravery to step into something that won’t be a constant bed of roses, but will be well worth it. That you will have eyes to see the miracles and blessings in the process and an immense cushion of comfort and encouragement in the difficulties. That you will know without a shadow of a doubt that you are blessed, highly favored, and continually loved by Almighty God. And finally, that you can honestly and innocently say, “Be it unto me as you have said, Lord.” for blessed is she/he who has believed for their shall be a performance of the things that were shown her/him by the Lord (Luke 1:38, 45).
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18 NASB)
*In ancient Jewish culture, when you were engaged it was a binding agreement. Once that process began, the only way to stop an engagement was for the husband-to-be to file a certificate of divorce. The wife-to-be was bound to be married and didn’t have this option. Such a beautiful picture of our engagement to Jesus. He will never ask for a certificate of divorce from us. Trust His love for you today.
(Featured pregnant belly with heart image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)