Christmastime is my favorite time of year. I’m sure it is for may be for many of you as well. Even though the days and nights are filled with business, there seems to be so much excitement and love in the air that it makes the chaos tolerable and even enjoyable.
For the Christ-follower, we have the peace and joy that comes from the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus should be ever-present in our hearts and on our minds. It should be hard for the thankfulness we feel not to spill over in every gift we wrap, cookie we bake and song we sing. But sometimes when the circumstances of life are hard or if this time of year brings unpleasant memories or struggles, it is easy to forget the Hope given to us. We can feel angry and frustrated instead of joyful and merry. So often we question why we have to deal with problems…I mean, shouldn’t we get a break? We ARE trying to live for Him and do the right things, after all! However, being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from problems. Having the Holy Spirit living inside us doesn’t disqualify us from trials…just look at Mary! She is the ultimate example of this fact!
Mary, full of faith
She experienced issues that I doubt any of us have or ever will have to endure and she was carrying Jesus! She was literally in His presence. If anyone deserved a pass from struggles, it would have been her…but it seems just the opposite in her case! Mary can teach us all how to walk through trials with total faith, confidence and trust because we are carrying Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit within us just as she did.
The angel appeared to Mary with the news of a very unique mission. Her very reputation and that of her family was at stake yet she accepted the assignment without hesitation. As matter of fact in Luke 1:38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Wow…not only did she say YES, she declares that she hopes it would all happen! This is a true servant with a heart full of faith and confidence that her Lord will take care of her! She was ready to be obedient no matter what would come her way as a result! Are we that willing? Are we that brave? Are we that full of faith?
Think of the many things Mary went through after her encounter with the angel. She would face a relationship struggle with her fiancé. She would leave her family, and all that was familiar, to travel to a foreign land all while being a newlywed and expecting. She and her husband would face financial challenges. She and Joseph would have to flee from their home, with the toddler Jesus, because He was in danger of being killed. She would live each day with the painful knowledge of what her son would one day face. She became a widow(many scholars conclude) and then, ultimately, she would watch as Jesus was brutally beaten, hung on the cross and take His last breath. Mary faced just about every painful and scary situation that life has to offer, yet she remained faithful. Although there isn’t much about Mary in scripture, it appears that she simply carried on with life and her purpose of being a mother, caring for her children and home. There is no account of her wavering or ever even questioning her circumstances and in light of all she endured, her strength was remarkable! It is no wonder she was chosen for such an important mission.
If we become the topic of gossip, if our marriage or relationships are in trouble, if our finances are being stretched, if we are experiencing overwhelming grief…whatever it is…remember Mary.
Mary teaches us that in this life we will not be free from pain, no matter who we are but when we are His servant with an obedient heart, we can fulfill the task He has for us. When we remain in His presence, we too can say with confidence, “May everything you have said about me come true” AND we can claim the promise of Psalm 46:5 when God is within her, SHE WILL NOT FAIL!
Read also: A Faith That Rises And Ascends Mountains