Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When God Comes Calling
...the angel said to [Mary], "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" But...she was troubled at his words, and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. • Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest... and of His kingdom there will be no end." • Mary said, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" • And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God... For with God nothing will be impossible." • Then Mary said, "I am the Lord’s servant! Let it be to me according to Your word." And the angel departed from her. • [Elizabeth said,] "Blessed is she who has believed there will be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."  — Luke 1:28-47, excerpts

Alarmed by an angel with a shocking proclamation about her impending pregnancy, Mary uttered just one question: How?
Mary’s one question appeared to be about the mechanics of becoming pregnant with God’s son; the angel answered her accordingly. But imagine the other questions in young Mary’s mind . . .
"Why did you choose me, my Lord?"
"How will Joseph respond? And my family?"
"What will my life be like, as the mother of the Messiah?"
Surely many questions would have run through her mind, as her plans for the future were suddenly turned upside-down and inside-out. But all those thoughts did not erase the truth she knew in her heart: that she was the servant of a sovereign and trustworthy God.
Mary knew that her identity, her future and her circumstances were in the Lord’s hands. And so, she confidently placed herself in His wonder-working arms. (Later, Elizabeth blessed her for having faith in God’s "impossible" promise.)
God called and Mary answered, with trust and joy and worship.
What do we do when God calls? I’ve not received angelic visitations myself, but God has knocked on my door in other ways, calling me to specific areas of service. When He calls believers, we face the same challenges Mary did: Will we trust God and His plans over our own doubts? ("I can’t do this, Lord! I don’t want this, Lord!") Will we look to God in trust or look away and follow our fears?
In Mary, I see a teenaged girl, just barely a woman, who believed God — His promises, His power, His provision for her — no matter what. Her confidence came not from knowing how to accomplish what God asked of her; her confidence came from knowing the One who called her.
Is God calling you to serve Him in a way that looks all but impossible to your human eyes? Is He allowing your impossibly difficult situation to continue? Do you feel you face an impossible decision?
No matter what His call is to each one of us, the truth that the angel spoke to Mary still holds true today: nothing is impossible with God.
The faithful and merciful God who called Mary 2000 years ago, is the same One who calls us today: to know Him, to love Him, to walk as His servants according to His word, to follow His call wherever He leads. 
  1 Thessalonians 5:24
He who calls you is faithful,
and He will do it.