Friday, December 18, 2009

Facing fear with faith

Today’s Reading: Luke 1:37 NIV

37 For nothing is impossible with God.

Good morning!

Are you ever been surprised by a life-altering curve ball? Sometimes it is hard to see beyond a particular circumstance or situation, especially when it wasn’t part of your master plan. If I could somehow simplify the journey, I would much prefer to lay it all out in front of me as a visual aid, keeping the road map handy to know where I am headed before I arrive. Are you like me? Would you prefer not to be hit by the curve balls of life?

No matter how difficult our circumstance, I am convinced there is no one who had a more surprising curve ball thrown at her than Mary, when the angel Gabriel visited her in Nazareth. Mary’s parents were poor; yet raised her well. As a young teen, Mary was admired by Joseph, a successful carpenter in town. Everyone knew Joseph – he was a man of great integrity, and a very hard worker. When Joseph asked for Mary’s hand in marriage, it seemed that she would never have to worry about having a roof over her head or food to eat. Joseph would make a fine husband and father for her children. Mary had a true sense of direction. She felt safe and loved. Her life was finally coming together, just as she had planned.

Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when the angel appeared to her that day, proclaiming that she had been chosen to bear the Messiah? Surprised and frightened, Mary could have responded by questioning or even refusing God’s plan for her life over her own. The most amazing part of this story for me is how Mary doesn’t even hesitate in answering God’s call. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38a)

Mary had some sense of what she would endure in telling Joseph she was pregnant. She knew she would face certain penalties imposed by the law for an unmarried woman with child. Despite her fear of the unknown, Mary faced certain public condemnation and death with great courage. She trusted God enough even though she could not see what the future would hold. Her faith is the kind of faith I would like to receive this Christmas.

Maybe your life has not worked out quite the way you had hoped it would. An unplanned event not previously scheduled on your life's calendar has thrown you for a loop, and you find yourself wondering what to do. The answer may be as simple as this: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Let go of your own imperfect plan, and embrace all that the Father has for you today. We can learn a lot from Mary; she faced her fear with faith.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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