According to The Message translation (modern language), the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Good Morning! You are beautiful with God’s beauty, inside and out! Mary was thoroughly shaken and wondered what could be behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her “You have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you, you will become pregnant and give birth to a son who you will name Jesus”. God has some interesting ideas of what ‘surprises’ are, and what we should not be afraid of. In fact if my memory serves correctly, whenever God said ‘Do not be afraid..’ in the bible, it was usually in regards to something EXTREMELY scary.
Mary did ask the critical question “But how? I’ve never slept with a man?”. Fair call.
This translation has me smiling, so simply put. I mean imagine if we had a spiritual calling to do something greater than what seemed possible to man?
Oh hang on, we do.
And we ask the same question, “How?” or “When?”, “What?”, “Why?”.
In most situations we will never have all the answers these questions. It is only in hindsight that we realize how things happened. And in truth it is our choice to either live a life of man driven achievements, powered by human strength and determination, or we can live a life where we listen to what he wants us to do, follow along, often half blind, but in a trusting manner, so that it is not just man driven, but God driven.
But no one likes running blind? I don’t. So too many times I’m trying to drive it all myself. Perfect example, my human determination says I should follow through more pregnant women for my midwifery degree to help me with my birth numbers, even though I have done more than the minimum for follow through women, I still need births though. I stress about it, over and over again. I keep telling myself, you just need to trust that it will happen, and it won’t be cause you ran around like a headless chook making it happen, it’ll be because this was God’s idea all along. Why would he bail on me now? He wouldn’t. I’m not saying you don’t have to put effort in, YOU DO! But there comes a point when your exhausted doing it all on my own, your fearful, your stressed, and you have done all you can humanly do. You just literally have to throw it into his hands. Do a physical throw, pretend you have your problem in your hands and just throw it.
In the bible it doesn’t really talk a lot about what was going through Mary and Josephs heads when all this “virgin having a baby” thing was happening. It says she accepted her God given gift/calling/mission, but no doubt she often wondered if she could do it. Maybe a wiser one should have had her place. She appeared just like any other, but it was what was inside her that was different. Just as her heavy belly was a load, so too would have been her worries and fears of what was to come, what was her baby Jesus going to do here? Was he going to be king like the prophecies said? We know now that he wasn’t the kind of King the Israelite’s were expecting… he probably wasn’t what Mary and Joseph were expecting.
Often it is unexpected, what we have been given to do, we can only see part of the way ahead. I think it would be too much to know what was to come, cause maybe we’d try and do it all ourselves.
He can do it better.
Its so scary letting go of what is precious to us, our precious, seemingly well made plans and dreams, to trust something that can’t be seen in the flesh, to trust an unknown future. Like a babe in the womb, you cannot see them, and if you haven’t given birth before, you don’t know if you can do it… until you do. Until your holding that precious thing, you trusted was in there, in your arms, finally tangible. And its way more precious than you could of dreamed of or planned for.
When we let go, trust and allow, we can accomplish far beyond what we could of come up with. Go blind to our own agenda’s and we will be able to see beyond them.
A really cool story for you, my mother. Never was interested in going to the ‘mission field’, international trips to developing nations to take God’s message there and offer other kinds of aid in health and social situations etc. She NEVER wanted to go to Nepal, Dad had wanted to go since he had been there as a teenager. After many luxurious trips to comfortable developed nations, with pastries, cute holiday homes and ski resorts. I said “Mum, you got to go to Nepal.”
So off they went…
Since then my family’s world has turned into Nepal world. Mum half lives there. She has traded European shoes and dresses for hiking boots and bandanas. She runs a women’s project, that supports women and families in Nepal through varies ways of raising money. Click HERE for more information on it. She just opened a women’s rehab in Kathmandu.
Saw that coming… not.
I’ve never put a prayer on any of my blog posts before, but this Christmas I want to let go and if you want to too, you can say the same words.. you don’t even have to say it out loud, just close your eyes a second, and think it.
“You have given me something to do God, show yourself to me and help me to trust you, so that I don’t have to do it on my own. You can do it better than me, you have better and bigger dreams than I do. Give me the next step and I will take it, knowing that you have all the rest of the steps and will show them to me in time, as I need them. I’m letting go.”