Monday, November 26, 2012

MOPS December Article

At Christmas time, especially as a mother and one that has been pregnant a few times through the holidays, my mind often drifts to Mary, the mother of Jesus. My first thoughts swirl around the logistics of  being pregnant back in those days without all the modern comforts we have now.  Um, no thanks.  I’m sorry Bible, did you say she had a baby in a barn and there were animals close by?  Again, no thanks.  Admittedly, I am a bit of a germaphobe and I seriously love a good pump of antibacterial hanging on the wall of the delivery room.  Second, I cannot imagine the range of emotions she might have felt as a young woman: unwed, pregnant and at risk of invoking shame and rejection from those that knew her and knew that she was with child.  Try to imagine: being betrothed, a virgin, finding out you’re pregnant, having an angel visit you and tell you that you are carrying God’s Son?  I think I would seriously question my sanity.  However, that is not how Mary responded.  At all.  In fact, she praised God.  She said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.”  {Luke 1:46-48}  Many of those around her might have rejected Mary, but God not only accepted her, He created her for this purpose and He sought her out.  She might have wanted to run away, but I think Mary knew the power of God.  I like to think she had been taught about this God the psalmist sang of “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; Your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.  “{Psalms 139:9-10} Mary knew the power of her God and so she accepted this wild thing He had bestowed upon her and she praised Him for it.  As we journey through these next few weeks before Christmas, I would like to challenge you to slow down and think about what purpose God has created you.  Mary had a clear calling on her life.  God has a calling on yours.  Start a conversation with God about this.  I started asking Him this question 8 years ago and He is still opening my eyes to the different ways He has equipped me.   As it turns out, many of the things I have seen as flaws in my personality, flaws in my body, flaws in the direction I chose are the very things He wants to use.  He is slowly revealing to me the beauty and complexity in which He created me.  He has a purpose for my flaws and He has a purpose for my strengths.  He has equipped me perfectly for His purpose.  He has also given me the freedom to choose whether or not I will respond like Mary and praise Him for “being mindful of the humble state of His servant.”  I can accept or reject Him and the beautiful gift He gave for me.  I am so thankful Mary chose to worship and to accept her purpose.  I am so thankful she bore Jesus God’s Son, despite some hard circumstances, and lived to tell about it.   

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