December 20, 2005

Without Reservation

**The following text was excerpted from**

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. . . . And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. . . . Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. . . . And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her."

Luke 1:26-38

Imagine Mary, a young virgin, being told by the angel Gabriel that she was to have a child and that he would be the Savior of the world. The amazement. The wonder. The wondering. How? Why? Who?

In those days, an unmarried pregnant girl risked much. If the father of the child didn’t marry her, she would probably remain unmarried for life. If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging or prostitution to earn a living. And the fact that Mary claimed she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit? She could have been considered crazy as well. But look at Mary’s response: “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

Remember how Abraham and Sarah responded when they were told they were going to have a child in their old age? Sarah laughed! (Genesis 18:9-15). And how about Zechariah upon hearing that he and his wife would have a baby? He doubted (Luke 1:18), and the angel struck him mute for the rest of his wife’s pregnancy because of his unbelief (v.20).

It’s likely that Mary didn’t have a clue as to what the future would hold for her or her son. She didn’t know if she would be ridiculed by her peers; she didn’t know that her son would be rejected and murdered. But she didn’t ask for the details either. She only knew that God was asking her to serve him, and she did so willingly and obediently.

What faith! God proved once again that he can, and does, use ordinary people and occasionally extraordinary events to accomplish his purposes.

What’s God asking you to do? What does your response to unexpected circumstances show about your character? What does this show about your relationship with God? Don’t wait for all the facts before you offer your life to God. And don’t think you’re not ready to be used by God because you’re not “special” enough.

Be like Mary, who willingly offered her simple, ordinary life without reservation. —Peggy Willison, Michigan

seeking: Father, what have you just revealed to me about my need to obey and follow you? What extraordinary things have you helped this ordinary person see?

responding: How do I usually react when asked to do something out of the ordinary? With laughter? With doubt that I can do it? With a lot of questions? With total willingness? • What is God asking me to do for him today? Will I do it?

Father, I praise you, for you are God. Your will is perfect and your ways are righteous. I surrender my will and seek to follow you in obedience.

following: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary acts.

No comments: