Just another day...
Have you ever been so busy that you tied a ribbon on your finger, taped a note to your car dashboard, or written on your hand to remember who and where you are to meet someone? In Isaiah 49:16 it says, “Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands.” As well as our names, God had Mary’s name written on his hand. He knew all about her. He knew the plan that was ready for her to complete. I can only guess that Mary’s day started out like any other day. She would have been very unsuspecting after all who expects and angel to come and audibly speak to them.
A Regular Girl...
There was nothing particularly special about Mary. She was not a princess or a socialite’s daughter; actually, she was just an ordinary small-town girl 13-15 years old. She would have spent her day like any other teenage girl in town. She would have helped grind the barley into flour, bake bread, cook meals, take care of the younger children, and of course there was always the need to go and collect water. For her this was normal and maybe even mundane but with God nothing is mundane, He saw something special in her.
I love how the message bible describes what happened when the angel came to Mary.
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you"
He went onto tell her "Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you," He then described God’s plan for her future and how she would not just be any mom but the mom of the messiah.
You may have read this passage before but have you ever thought how you would react if it was you instead of Mary? Do you think there would be an outburst of emotions including a rush of fear, confusion, disbelief, unworthiness and self-questioning why God would ever think to choose you? All of these might have gone through Mary’s head but they were quickly overcome with joy and peace followed by an incredible thankfulness, awe and a passionate desire to serve.
Her direct and confident “Yes” made her one of the first modern disciples. She never said, “Oh, let me go and discuss it with my family or with Joseph.” Instead without consideration of any consequences, she immediately chose obedience and simply answered, “Yes.” As I write this I keep hearing the words to the song Mary Did You Know and think about the questions it’s asking. "Mary; did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new? This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.” ( https://youtu.be/bXmfkFoX-PE) How she could possibly understand the far reaching ramifications of her statement– “YES, I will serve you God.”
We can look back at her in amazement but let’s think about what happened between her decision and nine months later when she gave birth. She would have to announce to the village that she was pregnant and who would believe that she was carrying the son of God? Would you? What did Joseph’s family think? Remember, she was promised to Joseph as a virgin and now she was telling this story. It most likely took some time for them to digest what she was saying before they came around. Mary would have had to spend time in her village as an unmarried pregnant woman and in many peoples eyes she would have been considered soiled, a fornicator. People might have shunned her, pointed fingers at her, labelled her as a person Joseph should send away. No one would have blamed him if he did. His confusion ended when an angel came to him in a dream and spoke to him telling him not to be afraid.
The Story Does Not End There...
We can say that was then and this is now, I couldn't do that. We pour out questions to God listing our demands. We want to know when our prayers will be answered, where he’s leading us next, and what we’re supposed to do in the meantime. God doesn't get tired of our questions, but he is blessed when we just trust him, believe and take him at his Word. We can tell ourselves all we want that we just aren't worthy of God's love and affection. After all, we have a past and it might not be the best. I am here to tell you it doesn't matter where you have been or what you have done God loves you and has a plan just for you!
“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you” -1 Thessalonians 1:4 NIV.
Now we can celebrate and life the birth of Jesus because of Mary's obedience and surrender. With all the bustle of the Christmas season, let’s remember how Mary responded to God’s request with that strong resounding YES. As we enter 2016 and people look to make resolutions let ours be to let God use us as he will.