It has been said there’s nothing new under the sun. Things people dream up, actions carried out, sins committed, heroics undertaken—all have been done before
In all of history, one person faced something no one else would ever experience . . . Mary. She alone was gifted with the privilege and the heartache of being mother to the Son of God. And with unique opportunities to see God’s provision.
What must Mary have thought when she learned God wanted her to give birth to the Messiah? When did the reality of the imminent difficulties of this calling absorb into her thoughts, her heart?
Mary endured ridicule and ostracism from people who had watched her grow from infancy to womanhood. Whispers of gossip floated around her. People gave her “the look” as she filled her water jugs at the well—all because she yielded her will to the Lord’s. Isolation would always be her companion.
When our pastor taught on the book of Luke, chapter one, he mentioned Mary had a strong faith. She had to if she was going to be a piece of God’s plan for salvation. God provided her with courage when she needed it.
He also provided Mary with another who encouraged and ministered to her as she walked a path of shame.
How amazing for this young lady to discover her older, barren cousin was also expecting! Mary’s time with wise Elizabeth must have heartened the young mother-to-be, confirmed her resolve to fulfill God’s mission. Elizabeth’s first words would have been a balm for Mary’s dampened spirit.
“And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” ~Luke 1:42-45
What words of affirmation for a weary heart! Perhaps Mary returned home, strengthened to live out God’s plan well.
At some point in a believer’s life, God presents a difficult choice. It may arrive on our heart’s doorstep in the form of a calling, or maybe a request to surrender some aspect of ourselves to Him. It may require us to walk through a season harder than we’ve ever known. How will we respond?
Will we trust God in that moment and yield our will to His? Will we remember His faithfulness from times past and believe that He’ll be faithful again?
When the Lord asks us to do something, He also equips us. We seldom experience the equipping before the moment, but always in the moment of our need. Striving in our own strength to accomplish for Jesus leaves us worn out. We must have His strength to fulfill what He asks of us.
God provides friends who speak truth when we need to hear it. He offers us assurances in His perfect way, and the Lord encourages through His word.
As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, maybe we should take time to search our hearts. Maybe we can ask Him to show us if we’re looking in the wrong places for provision.
As our Father provided for Mary in the form of an encourager, He will provide for us, if we let Him. When we yield to His plan, we can be assured God will supply our needs.
What about you? Are you in a moment of decision? How have you seen God’s provision in those decision times? Who is your favorite person from the Christmas story?
And I leave you with one of my favorite-est Christmas songs—Ever. “Breath of Heaven” shares of Mary’s journey and her struggle. It speaks deeply to my heart.