Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Days of Anticipation: Day 5 Unexpected News



Day 5- Unexpected News

Mary is just a teenager, living her life. She is betrothed to marry Joseph, a good man. I'm sure they had plans of building a house (one of the perks of marrying a carpenter), raising a family, and building a life together. It is every girl's dream-  a beautiful wedding to the perfect guy, and settling down into the cute house with the white picket fence, later adding two kids and a dog. I'm not sure what the Israelite version of this would have been, but I'm sure the anticipation and wistful excitement were the same. And then God, as He is known to do, took all of their plans and inserted His own.

An angel appears to Mary and gives her some incredible news- she will be the mother of the Savior whose kingdom will reign forever and she will conceive a child by the Holy Spirit even as a virgin. This news changed everything, and I'm sure it took a while for her to process all of the repercussions. She knew the Old Testament teachings and prophecies, she had been waiting for this day just like every other Jew. While she knew the coming of the Savior would change her life, I'm sure she hadn't ever considered being his mother!

While being the mother of the Savior was an honor, it obviously came with its challenges. I'm sure she weighed the costs in her mind. She would most likely lose Joseph- how could he believe such a tale? She would certainly lose her reputation- she could even be stoned as a prostitute for being pregnant out of wedlock. She could be kicked out of her family with no place to live. Suddenly all of the dreams for the future melted before her eyes at this unexpected news. While she could have blamed God for her loss or chosen to be a victim, her response is completely different. She sings a song!

"And Mary 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.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me-
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought them down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors."
  Luke 1:46-55

Mary response is one of faith. Instead of mourning the loss of her own plans, she realizes the importance of God's plan and trusts him to take care of the details. She not only knows that God's plan is better than her own, but her response models it. Maybe that is why she was the one chosen for the task.

Has God given you an assignment that was unexpected?
Have you taken this life-changing news with a song or have you grudgingly resented the change in plans?
In what ways have you not trusted God to provide for you when following His plan rather than your own?

How you react when God wants to use you in His plans makes all the difference in the world. At least, it did for Mary...


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