This past semester, I’ve been sharing with our young adult ministry about responding to the will of God. Much of it had to do with the life of Steve Jobs which I might write about later. But since it’s almost Christmas, I decided to extract the portion related to this season.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, had quite a surprise dumped on her suddenly and without warning. “…God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “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.” Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” 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” And Mary 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. Then the angel left her…Mary didn’t waste a minute…” (Luke 1:26-39).
Understandably, Mary responded with anxiety. Seriously, it’s not everyday a glowing 7 foot being appears to a teenage girl; quite troubling. But long term, she given the responsibility of giving birth to…the Son of God, King of kings…the very Messiah Himself. Whoa, God, maybe I just wanted a lawyer, doctor, even a carpenter. This is a lot to swallow…but yet, God causes interruptions, and adjustments in our lives. The best thing to do is follow and obey. It’s not a matter of God taking away our desires and dreams. He’s saying to us “What you want is good, but I’ve got something better!!!”
Then came the questions. Several problems here, Gabe: How can I conceive without having relations with a man? I’m a virgin…duhh. How am I going to convince Joseph? How am I going to avoid being stoned for adultery? Mary shows very human concerns: shame and embarrassment regarding those who wouldn’t understand; Isolation and loneliness when delivering far away from home. This is an awesome responsibility and expectation about this sovereign call…bring forth the one prophed about for thousands of years…the One who would bring salvation to the world.
But alas, Mary responded with a surrendered heart: I’m the Lord’s, ready to serve. All right God, bring it on…I’m yours, whatever comes, I’m trusting in you. She got this truth in her heart “The Lord is with (ME); Nothing is impossible with God.”
And when she responded, she did it without hesitation.