Today, I joyfully spent the morning and early afternoon being productive. I finally got around to doing some much needed cleaning and organizing (while dancing like an idiot to all kinds of random music, of course). I baked a practice wedding cake for a friend who will be getting married in less than a month. I imported about fifty cds onto my computer. Then, I gratefully spent the late afternoon and early evening relaxing by watching some tv and taking a nap. By the time I woke up, I was completely relaxed and decided that I would venture out into the real world with real people.
I was only in the real world for about five minutes when I was hit with a heavily weighted question that quite confused me. I was asked the question:
“Do you believe in God?”
My immediate reaction was to laugh. Why? Because this person might as well have been asking me what my first name was. You see, this person knows without a shadow of a doubt that I DO believe in God. I don’t just believe in a god, but I believe in the one TRUE God. Once I realized that this person was not joking, I replied with a simple, “yes.” Of course there was more to follow and the conversation steered towards the question of why we are here, why we believe in God, and how we believe in God.
Conversations like this always make me truly think about my walk with God. Those kinds of questions are so difficult to answer, because God is not a concrete object. I cannot say that I believe in God because I can see Him or touch Him. So, why do I believe in God? I started to think about all of the times that God has made Himself known to me. He has given me peace with some of the most difficult decisions I have had to made. He has laid a passion on my heart to serve children. He has led me to the same verse over and over again for a month straight just so that I could get the picture that He loves me.
In the end, I do not have a solid answer to give when asked why I believe in God. However, I DO believe in God. I believe in Him with my whole heart and I wish to serve Him with my entire life. I know I fail daily, but I also know that He waits with an outstretched arm, ready to pick me up whenever I am ready. I seek to glorify Him in everything I do; it is not an easy task and I lose sight all of the time, but the desire is real. I know I need to do some serious soul searching and spend time in prayer; because one day, someone is going to ask me why I believe in God and the answer, “Because I do,” will not cut it. I never want to be the reason that someone gives up on pursuing God. I want to be able to answer with such passion and honesty that they feel the same desire to become closer to the Heavenly Father that I feel.
This year I have been excited about all of the holiday seasons and have had a lot of holiday spirit. I normally enjoy the holidays, but this year I have been even more excited then usual. I have also spent a great deal of time thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. Tonight, my family watched The Nativity Story. I have always thought that the movie had been done well and did a great job depicting the true meaning of the season and the hardships that went along with the incredible story. After watching the movie, I decided to go through each gospel of the Bible to read the story of the birth of Jesus. The gospel of Luke tells the most detailed version of the story. I find that I often think about what an incredible event that took place when Jesus was born, but I overlook all of the details and do not see it for what it truly is.
1. Mary was willing to give up everything when the angel of the Lord told her that she was with child. The only hesitation that she made was because she did not understand how she could be with child since she was a virgin. The angel simply told her that it would be from the Holy Spirit. Mary declared herself a servant of God.
Mary knew that this would change her life for ever. She was pledged to be married. She knew that Joseph would leave her. She knew that she would not be accepted by the people around her if she became pregnant out of wedlock. She knew that people would not believe her, yet she accepted it without question. She was more than willing to accept God’s calling on her to carry the Son of God.
How often does God ask us to do something as small talking to someone about salvation? How often do we fight Him and come up with a million and one reasons why we cannot do it? I know that I have an impossible time just trusting God. He has never asked me to do anything that would change my life dramatically, yet I still always argue and try to find a way around it.
2. Mary was not only willing, but she was joyful. She did not see losing everything she knew as a burden, she saw it only as an honor to carry the Son of God. What an honor that was! She praised God for choosing her and glorified Him. She gave up all she knew to carry out God’s will and to bring the most precious infant into the world. She could have fought, she could have complained about what being pregnant would do to her reputation, she could have found a way out of it. But she didn’t.
It saddens me to think back to all of the times I have not done what God called me to do or times when I did do what He called me to do but I complained the entire time. God has not asked me to change my life drastically. He has not asked me to do anything that would lead my family and friends to scorn me. He has not asked me to do anything outlandish. Even still, I fight and try to do my own will. I am slowly but surely learning that His will is above all else. It is not easy by any means, but I desire to follow His calling without hesitation. I want to be Mary. I want to respond to God saying, “I am the Lord’s servant… May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38). I want to accept His calling as an honor not a burden. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.” (Luke 1:46b-48a).