Day 9 // Faith

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

When it comes to Mary, there are generally two extremes: Some idolize her to the point of giving Jesus a back seat, and others ignore her. I’m impressed with her amazing response to the angel’s announcement that she would give birth to God’s Son. She was engaged to be married to a poor carpenter named Joseph and wondered how it would be possible for her as a virgin to have a child. This was a huge risk for her to accept. She could be stoned to death at the worst or shunned at the least and left by Joseph and her family to manage on her own for the rest of her life, forced into begging or prostitution to earn a living. Imagine how difficult it would be to convince anyone of her story about being made pregnant by the Holy Spirit! They would think she was crazy as well.

Nevertheless, despite all the risks, Mary said to the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant … May it be to me as you have said.” She responded with humility and faith! With the heart of a servant, she simply believed God and made herself available to whatever He wanted to do. She couldn’t make it happen and didn’t understand how it could happen, but she trusted that the One who told her it would happen would bring it to pass in His own way and time. We look back on it and see the tremendous opportunity she had; but, she couldn’t see that through what seemed to be disastrous. Yet, she willingly obeyed.

What about you? As we take this Advent adventure, what is it God is saying to you? Does it seem impossible? You can’t understand how you could possibly accomplish what He is asking you to do or to give, yet deep within, you sense God is speaking. Throughout the Bible there have been a number of responses to situations like Mary’s. When Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was told she would have a child at the age of 90, she laughed! (Who wouldn’t laugh or maybe cry?). Then there was Zechariah, the priest. When he was told by an angel that his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child in her old age, he doubted.

How do you respond to God when He challenges you with what seems too incredible to believe or achieve? Laughter? Doubt? Or a willing acceptance to whatever God may say? What makes the difference? Submission. Willing submission to God requires humility and faith. Maybe that’s the simple step God is waiting for in your life. Try Mary’s response.

“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

Like Mary, you will discover that the risk is worth the reward and experience the most meaningful Christmas you have ever had!

What are you doing with your one and only life that can only be explained by God acting in your behalf?

Are you willing to risk it all in obedience to what God would have you do or give?

How available are you to God?