I hate feeling out of control of things. It’s why I hate my kids getting sick, roller-coasters, plane trips, scary storms, and laundry. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Feeling powerless in any situation is not a fun thing for me.
Which is probably why I’ve faced many, many situations in my life that were not on my to-do list. Because God has taught me what it means to trust that He is in control. And as He’s proven Himself faithful again and again, I’ve learned that it’s better for me to surrender my will to His. But these kinds of lessons are rarely easy. I’ll let go of my control and then catch myself trying to grab it back…
But I’m trying to be more like Mary.
Mary wasn’t a perfect girl. Just like us, she made mistakes. She had fallen short of God’s law like every other man or woman in the world. But she found favor with God. And I think, just like her forefather Abraham, that favor was because of her faith.
Gabriel came to Mary, who was engaged to Joseph, and said: “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; He will rule Jacob’s house forever— no end, ever, to his kingdom.”
My questions would have been many and varied…sort of like: “Are you really an angel? Did God really send you to me? And what do you mean, I’m going to have a baby?! I’m getting married!! How am I supposed to explain to Joseph? And — I’ll be pregnant? I don’t know if I’m ready to be a mother! And He’ll be WHAT? A King forever? How is that going to happen? I don’t know how to help someone become king! What will my parents say? What will Joseph say? And why don’t I get to choose His name??”
And many more, I’m sure. But Mary has one reasonable, logical question. Not to do with the implications and consequences and doubts — just how? She was a virgin. Her walk down the aisle hadn’t yet taken place…so how would this baby come into being?
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.
“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”
Gabriel answered her directly — and let her in on Elizabeth’s news.
Here, Mary could have worried and fretted and generally freaked out. But she didn’t. Instead, she said: “Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.”
Just as you say, Father. Just as you say…you have the control…whatever unfolds in my life is your call.
Oh, to have a heart that trusts like this! Oh, to completely surrender without question…to want to glorify God more than my own needs!
Mary’s heart and mind were not on herself. It wasn’t about her life, her plans, her family, or her needs. It was about obeying God in joyful, thankful love. Fulfilling His purpose was her purpose.
And that kind of heart, as we see, brings God such pleasure. This is my prayer, that I won’t hold back…that I’ll trust Him enough to live out Mary’s words…”I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.”
Mary’s Song (from Luke 1)
I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.