On this side of the cross, we accept the virgin birth readily. If we believe in Jesus, we don’t have to be convinced that he was born of a virgin, Mary, and that God is his father. But what if you were Mary?
Would this unorthodox news have been so easy to accept? When Gabriel shared the revelation with Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the son of God, she only had one question in Luke 1:34- How will this be, since I am a virgin? Gabriel answered, The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.
Did Mary quiz Gabriel anymore? No. She accepted his answer and said, I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.
I wish I had the faith of Mary, don’t you? I am not a one-question kind of girl. When I receive a message, I have to test it over and over and over and I know I make God weary with all my questions and my neediness for signs.
I remember when the Lord told me it was time to leave my television sportscasting job for good. After 19 years in the business, I wanted to make sure I heard him right, so I’d ask for sign after sign, and until I was 100 percent convinced, I continued plodding away in my job. Because I didn’t believe initially, my work became increasingly more difficult and I felt pressure from the television management. The creativity I had been praised for in the past, didn’t seem good enough anymore. I was becoming increasingly more frustrated. I received numerous confirmations, but when I’d go through a short, good stretch, I’d doubt the message.
This cycle went on for about a year before I finally cried “uncle” and did what God asked me to do previously. Little did I know at the time, a more regular schedule in a different business would allow me to serve God more and eventually attend seminary. He knew all this from the beginning. Why didn’t I believe him from the start and have the faith of Mary?
There is peace that can be found in an immediate acceptance of what God reveals to us. I am struggling with a new word from God about my future and I am falling back into my old pattern. Instead of saying, May your word to me be fulfilled, I am asking, “How is this going to happen?” “When will it happen?” I’m imagining scenarios in my head and once they play out in my mind, I think, “OK rule that one out. I cannot out plan God.” If only I had the faith of Mary! If only I could accept what God tells me, because there is no peace when I don’t. If only….
What about you? Do you have the faith of Mary? It is my prayer for you this Christmas that you will learn to readily accept God’s plan for your life and be able to say May your word to me be fulfilled…Using Mary’s faithful obedience, God was able to save the world through the birth of his son, Jesus. What an amazing scenario that only God could put together! He can do that for you and me as well, if we have faith.
Merry Christmas everyone!