I’m used to being the wild one who firmly held the truth that with God everything is possible, but this season I am finding myself in a different place than Christmas past. Truth be told, I am wrestling with the statement we hear Angel Gabriel tell Mary when he suggests that she will bring Jesus, Immanuel, into the world. The angel whispers “nothing will be impossible with God” and in that moment, Mary is the wild one and she believes in the
I want to believe like this.
Maybe you too?
And the funny thing is, this is a big truth for all of us. God doing impossible things and REALLY BELIEVING IT. I mean, come on, you guys. THIS IS BIG STUFF. My only thought is that some of us can brush this aside and not really repent of it. We only halfway hold the truth (but then aren’t we only halfway holding God?)
“God could do that for Mary, but what other miracles can He really do?”
“Can our nation ever return back to Him?”
“Can my marriage ever be healed?”
“God could never use me.”
And on and on. And on we go.
Unfortunately (for my husband), I am a feeler and an extremist. This means I can’t brush anything under a rug, and when I feel something I typically want to go and experience it, change it, grow it, run with it. So when I see my sin for what it is, not wholly believing God can do impossible things, I feel it.
So how do you and I, in all of our tasks and heartbreaks and obstacles, still believe (with our whole hearts) that everything is possible with God?
I have compiled three truths from Mary’s story for us to grab onto and rub between our fingers. This is how we begin to remember nothing is impossible with God.
(Quick history lesson before we dive in: Elizabeth is married to Zechariah. They are both older and described as righteous and living without blame. Zechariah was a priest. Mary is young — between 12-16 — and is engaged to Joseph. Mary and Elizabeth are cousins. Whew.)
CHILDLIKE FAITH STILL WINS
We actually hear about the pregnancy of Elizabeth before we hear about Angel Gabriel coming to Mary. Elizabeth was past child-bearing years and it would have been impossible for her to give birth.
An angel comes to Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, and tells him that he will have a son and that he must name him John. Zechariah doubts God can do such a thing.
Consequence for his doubt? Zechariah becomes mute.
At least six months later, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary. He tells her she will conceive and give birth to a son and will name him Jesus. The angel says that Jesus will be great and the Savior of the world. And furthermore, this will all happen in such a mysterious way. (Gasp). The Holy Spirit will come upon Mary and the power of the Most High will overshadow her.
Mary is given a moment to respond to the angel and she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Mary trusts the angel like a child trusts a parent. As we get older we tend to become weary of trusting in impossible outcomes like we see in Zechariah.
I am begging God to return to my childlike faith.
GREAT ADVENTURES START WITH WILLINGNESS
Mary stepped into her greatest adventure of raising the Son of God by having a willing heart. Many of us are a few years (decades) into our walks with God and are wondering, “Is this it? Is this really all that Christianity is? Going to church, doing a Bible study, maybe occasionally opening our homes and sometimes giving away a bit of our money.”
What a drag.
If this is our version of Christianity, no wonder it is in a state of decline. Nowhere in the scriptures do I see lack of adventure, lack of purpose, and humdrum people. Instead I see the Bible as a book full of adventure + purpose + fascinating people. It’s a shame we are showing our society such a skewed version of Christianity. A washed out one.
It is only in the complete surrender that we find our lives and in the sweet surrender do we taste fullest of joy.
But we will only taste it if we actually give way to sweet yeses to our King. Until then Christianity looks and feels and tastes like a drag.
I am praying for a heart of great willingness.
FAITH MEANS FAITH
What does that mean? Faith, by definition, means believing in what you cannot see. This also means faith is acting on God’s word without knowing what will come from it.
Mary had no idea what was next for her life. She could certainly scrutinize that people would ridicule and judge her. She could ask all sorts of questions about how all of this would flesh out in the end. Would Joseph stay with her? Would she have a home? How would she raise a baby with such a high call?
Her faith meant faith.
Your obedience won’t make sense to the world. Your relentless love, your dying to self, your doing another hard thing for the sake of the gospel will look foolish; this is faith and these are the grounds God works.
I am asking God to increase my faith.
May these truths be rocks under our feet, girls. Let’s get it under our fingernails, too. And let’s be the wild ones to believe that God actually meant it when He said everything is possible with Him.