Go With God
Today I broke away from the presents and enormous piles of chocolate to breath and read the Christmas story. Yes, I listened to it yesterday evening in church, but isn't there a sweet aspect of sitting in a quiet room and reading the words with your own eyes, taking the time to soak up the details instead of speeding along in memorization?
I started at the beginning of the book of Luke, as a firm believer that every good story has an even greater backstory. And I found myself in stuck on one thing -- the way Mary handed over her insecurities and questions to God. Here she was a young girl who was to be pregnant, in an era that found birth out of wedlock atrocious. How intensely terrifying. I mean, Gabriel's appearance alone would have thrown me into a tizzy. And there she was, processing the information -- the responsibility -- he was conveying.
She asked her question: "How will this be, since I am a virgin." (ESV, Luke 1:34), but in her head, I'm sure there was so much more. Confusion, fear, a good ole ARE YOU KIDDING? Yet after her one question (that we're given) and Gabriel's answer, she responded in sheer obedience.
Not only is the fact that Mary obediently said "ok, You've got this" (paraphrasing of course) to God's plan admirable and truly a quality of faith to strive for, but the timing is what I find the most riveting.
While I take far more time to hand over my insecurities about my future...as in, what will happen in the next few days, Mary gives her questions to God immediately. She doesn't say, "hmmm ok that sounds ok but I'm going to stress over this for the next six months and then, when I'm ready, I'll fully hand it to you." Instead, she is quick to give over her fears.
I don't think this meant that Mary didn't have moments of worry during her pregnancy. Any woman who is traveling via donkey at the nine-month mark is sure to have some concerns. But it meant that she had given it over to God -- He was in charge and she was His servant. That's all that mattered.
You go girl.
Putting this in perspective, as a 22-year-old who is living a fairly tame life in comparison to Mary's, I realize how silly it is for me to hold onto things for so long. We see through this story that having questions is not bad -- it's human, and God has given us minds that long for answers. Yet letting those questions weigh us down from doing God's work is where the problem arises.
This is hard for me to do. I cannot fathom Mary's position, and there's a reason it was her and not me. But that doesn't mean I'm off the hook -- that doesn't mean that this control freak can latch on to doubts and keep them in her hand. I've got to hand it over to the Big Man and let Him take it.
As we approach 2018 in one week, maybe this can contribute to our New Year's resolutions. But instead of making it just a hope for 2018, let's make it a lifestyle. Let's go through life with a "Yes, You've got this; I'm here for Your glory" attitude.