My wife and I made a hospital call yesterday and enjoyed trying to be an encouragement to a woman named Mary who attends our church. Despite the dire situation she is going through she is trying to have a good attitude about it all. But say a prayer for her, its not easy this time of year especially. As we thought later of what this lady has just been through and how things will change for her in light of her accident, I was reminded of how God is really in control despite sometimes our thoughts otherwise and our independent natures. Yes, God is sovereign but He also is so infinitely wise that He can allow anything that comes into our lives to draw us closer Him and “balance” us out. We have our plans, hopes, dreams and sometimes we get a message causing us to pause and remember that its not all about us.
What if you were laid up, and right before Christmas with all that goes on this month? Would you be angry at God? One of the “Christmas passages” that especially has spoken to me through the years has been when Gabriel comes to Mary to inform her of God’s plan to use her to bear the Messiah. Her simple yet faith filled response is, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word.” (Lk.1:38). She used a humble word translated “handmaid” that was the female version of the normal word for “slave”. She recognized her place in God’s “pecking order”. Do we? And God didn’t force His will upon her, nor does He us. The fact that she gave her consent shows this, but she gave her consent and once given she opened herself up for scorn and ridicule of a great magnitude in a religious society. She also in time would open up herself to great anguish as predicted in the Temple by aged Simeon, “Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul” (Lk.2:35).
Sometimes living for God has its share of pitfalls along the way but always ends up being worth it. For Mary and Joseph, despite the trials, they got to SEE and enjoy Jesus first hand !! But remember as you go about business this holiday season, that its really supposed to be about God’s business. Don’t get too busy you neglect your church and its needs. Don’t get so caught up in spending for others that God gets the crumbs. Keep Him first because He deserves that from us!! And whether your name is Mary or not, be like them and go with God’s flow !
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