I was listening to Pandora the other day at work on the Phil Wickham Holiday station and a song came on that really caught my attention…
I forgot to bookmark it and couldn’t remember who even sang it for the life of me. For the past hour I’ve had Pandora playing next to me just trying to find it. As I was putting my phone away for the night I looked at the screen and it was the exact song I was wanting!
The part that struck me was what Sara’s son, Toby, read both at the beginning and end, especailly this:
So Mary trusted God more than her eyes could see…
Whoa. I googled that phrase to try to figure out where it come from. What I finally figured out was that it was Luke 1 read from the Jesus Storybook Bible! I’m seriously thinking I should start reading that version because I love the simplicity of the story in this song… Why doesn’t Bible Gateway list this as an option for translation? It’s sure simple and to the point. I like that (not that you could tell by the length of my blog posts!)!
But anyway… I was thinking about this as I was driving around today. I can’t even trust God with the basics, and Mary said (in my mind) “Okay God, I trust you. Sure, people will talk behind my back, make fun of me, hate me, call me names. They won’t understand. They’ll think I got pregnant with Joseph’s baby before we were married. ‘Unacceptable,” they’ll say. But it doesn’t matter – I don’t live for the praises of man. No God – I live for you. I am honored and humbled that you chose me to carry your one and only son who will save the entire world. I trust you. Your opinion and thoughts of me are the only ones that matter. Let people think and say what they will, I live to please You alone.”
Brick to stomach. What is my deal? Why can’t I be more like this Mary? We so often talk about Mary Magdelene but rarely study the person of the Virgin Mary. And look at her. She knew what it meant to trust God. I know one of my biggest issues is caring too much about others’ thoughts about me. I am aware of this. I am working on it. It still plagues me. I am realizing that so much of what I do – in so many areas of my life – is to earn approval or acceptance of others. Things I thought were innocent or even for God are even at times (or often) for the praise of man.
So I went to my grownup Bible (a.k.a. English Standard Version) and read Luke 1:26-38 where the angel Gabriel tells Mary about her destiny as the one to carry the baby Jesus. I noticed that Mary does question this. Me? Why? I’m a virgin! Gabriel says, “don’t worry, silly, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and do all the work. Just let Him do his work in your body.” And Mary concedes. Note:
- Mary questions God’s plan [“How can this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)] and God ISN’T disappointed in her for this. It’s okay to wonder. Maybe even to doubt. I don’t know how biblical that is, but I believe it. I think God accepts (and even expects it and understands!) our questioning, IF we respond like Mary:
- Mary accepts and trusts that God’s plan is bigger than her understanding [“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord;let it be according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)], and
- Mary offers herself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who was given to her [“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35)]
- We are given the Holy Spirit to live in us and change us (Ezekial 36:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Acts 19:2, Luke 11:13)
- When given the opportunity, the Holy Spirit really will do great things in us!!
… It blazed in the night and made the other stars look pale beside it. God put it there when his baby son was born to be like a spotlight, shining on him, lighting up the darkness, showing people the way to him…You see, God was like a new dad. He couldn’t the good news to himself… he’d been waiting all these long years for this moment, and now – he wanted to tell everyone.