December 5, 2022
Read: Luke 1: 34-38
34Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”
35Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. 37Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!”
38Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And then the angel left her.
Luke 1:34-38 The Passion Translation
As a parent, I am familiar with the “buts” that follow an instruction.
“It’s time to turn off the TV”
“But it’s not the end of the episode yet!”
“It’s time to clean your room”
“But it’s so messy I don’t know where to start.”
As I read this scripture, it strikes me that we carry those “buts” with us in life even into adulthood. Mary has just been told by God, through an angel, that she will give birth to the Son of God. Her first response starts with a “but”. “But that cannot even be possible, God, and let me tell you why.”
As parents, we know the whole picture. We know that the episode ending is not as important as getting the right amount of sleep to tackle the next day. We know that if you break down a big mess into smaller chunks, it’s easier to handle – AND we know that a clean room is healthier for us, both physically and mentally.
God knew the bigger picture for Mary as well. She was instrumental in Jesus being born into our world to bring His love and forgiveness. He already had the plan as to how it would all play out. Her view of the situation was limited. But God’s view was complete, right, and whole.
As a parent, I also love hearing the word “yes.” It not only shows obedience, but it demonstrates TRUST. My kid trusts that I have her best in mind. And that it will work. And that I will only ask her to do something that I am confident she can do – sometimes with my help.
As a parent, I am not perfect. But God is. When He gives me an instruction or invites me into His plan, I can trust that He has my best in mind. And that whatever He is asking of me will work. And that He isn’t asking me something that is beyond my capability – especially with the help of His Holy Spirit at work in me.
Is God inviting you to join Him in something? A new adventure? A leadership role? A special part of His plan? He can handle your “buts” – but He LOVES your yes. And we can trust Him – because NOTHING is impossible with God (v37)!
Personally, I want to join Mary this Advent season and trust Him while I give my “yes.” Will you join me?
Written by Janine Armstrong