One of the ideals of Women of the Way is to study the women in the Bible in order for us to learn and understand what made them special and apply those Godly traits to our own lives. So….I am beginning a series on women in the life of Christ from His birth to the Resurrection! This series was actually the theme of our first Women of the Way Bible study in 2012, and it was such a delight to be a part of that study.
Can you imagine being a woman living during the time of the Messiah? To hear His teaching with your own ears or actually see the love in His eyes? What do these women teach us about being followers of Christ? I mean, some of them literally followed Him in his earthly ministry.
How about this….can you imagine giving birth to the Son of God??
We all know the extraordinay tale of Christ’s birth, so what better place to begin this series than with the first woman to come in contact with The Word made flesh?….Mary
Now, every woman who’s given birth or adopted or found a baby under a cabbage leaf has a story to tell. We love to recount those precious memories forever branded in our hearts and minds. One of my glorious memories was in Sept 2004. I was in Asheville, SC attending an Autism training with my wonderful friend, Donna. The afternoon finally came to hear the results of the pregnancy test, and with Donna and I set free from our training, we headed off to the Biltmore for some fun. By the time we got back to the hotel that night, my phone had several messages because I had ignored them all afternoon fearing the news of yet a still empty womb. I finally locked myself in the bathroom and listened to the messages. My poor husband had been calling all afternoon and finally left the results on voice mail saying that the test was positive and we had made a baby! Sitting in the bathroom of the Hampton Inn crying, I called him and we finally got to hear each other’s voices and rejoiced over such a miracle. It was a moment I will never forget!
As great as my story is, nothing can compare to the story of Mary and her Divine Announcement. In Luke 1, we read this familiar story that never gets old in hearing it again and again:
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.37 For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
Do you ever get the feeling Mary was saying…”Uh….’scuse me….. I didn’t sign up for this!”?
When we examine the statements of Gabriel vs the responses of Mary, we see her progression and get an idea of why she was so highly favored. Mary began being confused and disturbed, then she asked How can this be? And finally, we see her resolved- I am the Lord’s servant. She felt overwhelmed, she asked questions, she couldn’t even comprehend how this was physically going to happen. Yet, her final answer, her resolve, was Surrender.
God, I don’t know what you are doing, I didn’t ask for this, I don’t understand how you are going to work this out, but………….I surrender.
What is it that God has unexpectedly brought into your life? What are you facing that makes you feel confused and scared and asking how and saying “Uh….’scuse me….. I didn’t sign up for this!”?
Forgive me for being frank, but if God can bring life to a virgin womb, then He can surely handle your situation too. Your surrender doesn’t mean that you give in or quit praying or stop asking for answers. It just means you are willing to let God be God.
Here’s an awesome thought: the same Holy Spirit that conceived the Son of God is living inside you!!! So the next time you are asking how can this be? Remember, The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you!…..for nothing is impossible with God!!!!