She was devote and beautiful, committed to her faith and walking with God. Then she disappeared for a few months only to reappear heavy with child. It was so obvious that she had brought shame to her family, her faith but most of all to her betrothed. A man of outstanding character, committed to his faith and life in the community. Additionally, she didn’t approach him to explain the situation; rather he saw her walking down the street hesitantly. He called out to her but she disappeared into the house. He followed and when she turned all he saw was a large protruding belly; heavy with child.
His heart and mind were racing. How could she do this? Who had she been with while she was away? Had she really gone to visit her cousin? How could her people know about this and hide it from him? Had she no self-respect and honour? Who did she think would marry her now? His thoughts and rage must have been visible on his face because she begged him to believe that she was still pure and this was the work of God. How could it be God? HE never did anything that was against the laws, did HE? HE never gave impossible instructions like this one or did he? Surely God didn’t do things like this to people like them did HE?
The Epic Bible Mini Series made Mary’s situation so vivid. Imagine the pain and confusion her pregnancy brought to her. Life was totally turned life upside down and changed forever. One moment she was engaged, the next she met an angel of the Lord, the next she was pregnant, the next she was disowned by her fiancé, the next she was about to be stoned then she heard a voice that she knew say, “I believe her, I will marry her, if she will have me.” Oh, the sense of relief she must have felt when Joseph stepped through the crowd and gave her back some dignity. Now she was safe, she wouldn’t die that day but would live to see her child born. Joseph only went to her rescue after he too met and heard from the angel of God. Isn’t that just profound?
Just like Mary
What has God asked you to do that is so radical and unreal that you have tried to run and find options? What has God asked you to become, change, that you haven’t done because it is too hard? Where does God want you to go that is so outlandish that you are currently thinking HE has lost His mind? (now that thought really cracks me up…God has lost His mind). What hard situation has HE asked you to remain in that you may see His hand? What disease has HE opted not to heal and you or your loved one is suffering for His good? Which relationship has HE asked you to re-write? Indeed, HE has asked each of us to do something unusual, different, mind blowing and earth shattering and we have either accepted or declined.
The thing that keeps me going in the midst of my crazy instruction is my relationship with Him. Yes, my relationship with Him. The reality is that HE gave me the instruction and HE gives the staying power. HE provides the confirmations and HE provides the companions. So, how do I even begin to doubt that HE has been and continues to be The One who gave the instruction? Well, the instruction is so radical I could never tell myself to do something like that. Never!
Even as Mary was terrified, she chose to believe God despite the hardship. Did she have weak moments? I bet she did. Did she give up? Never. Why? She was sure she heard the word of the Lord from the angel. She had also seen the confirmation when she went to see Elizabeth and had become comfortable with the God who does things differently for a very definite reason. Her acceptance of His word and her faith in her appointed travel companion opened a door for her to believe that in all circumstances God would work it out to His glory.
The way out:
I have had many moments recently when I have questioned the word God gave me. I almost had a panic attack when I really thought about His instruction and the reality of my life. I could not find a visible point of congruence between the two. All I wanted was a visible path leading me to the obvious, visible success and freedom from the need to consistently depend on instruction. Hahahaa! Yet the truth of the matter is that I could choose to stay or walk away. How would I move away from the place of confidence in God and His word? Where would I go? Who would I seek counsel from?
I remembered that if God said it; everything will work out. So I chose to stay put and believe Him. I asked myself questions: Did HE say it? Absolutely! Do I understand it all? Not completely. Can I stay the path? Only with Him by my side? Will I give up on it? No! Why? God said it. Could I look foolish to others? Possibly! Does it scare me? At times…yet I press on. Can I continue to walk this road? Yes. There is no other way. I press on because I choose His word over my comfort. The day I decided to follow Jesus, there was no turning back. Remember Jesus asking God to take away the cup of suffering but he ended with “Not my will but Yours be done.” My surrender allows God to regain control and then life corrects itself.
No one can walk my path and there are many lives that depend on my obedience. My obedience opens the next door for me and others that will allow our lives to grow and expand. I must be true to who I was created at all times.
Help me always seek you and hear you. Help me obey the first time not many moments later. Send my travel companions that I may have strength along the way. Connect me to all my joints that I may supply for them and receive from them. Most of all, Lord send me my daily dose of You that I may walk in Your knowledge and showcase You to the world. In Jesus Name, Amen
In Jesus Name, AMEN