My husband once taught about the two Gabriel encounters in Luke chapter one, how he came to Zachariah and then to Mary. Although the text says that both responded in similar ways, (They both basically said, “Um, how can this be?”) Mary garnered favor and Zachariah garnered muteness. Why? And what implication does that have for me? For you?
Patrick pointed out that birth after barrenness had precedent. Though not common, God had opened the wombs of older women. But He had yet to set any sort of virgin birth precedent. Yet Zachariah doubted (shown by Gabriel’s response and rebuke) and Mary believed (shown by Gabriel’s praise of her).
Think about that. Mary believed something completely without precedent. She had a simple, trusting faith that God was indeed big enough to do that which is completely beyond expectations. She even let God set the bar for those expectations. And she allowed herself to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit to become impregnated! Her faith not only involved assent, but permission for God to touch the deepest parts of her.
I want to have a Mary moment like that.
I spend way too much time fretting, planning, scheming, doubting. Do you?
What would it look like if you simply rested, listened and believed? If you truly relinquished control to the One who works miracles?
In that wrestling, I can’t help but think of my writing career. In this hesitant moment, I feel compelled to pray, to voice Mary’s words to God the Father: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Here’s a prayer you can pray:
Lord, I relinquish my plans, my ideas of how my life is supposed to look. I give up trying to figure it all out. I want to welcome Your supernatural ways, Your far-above-me ways. According to Your plans may I walk. Help me to rest in Your provision, Your timing, Your direction. I want to be like Mary who welcomed the impossible. My life is not my own; it’s Yours. Take it. Use me. Use my words. Use my voice. Use my heart. May it be said of me when I leave this earth that I poured my life out for Your sake. I am Your yours, Lord. Amen.