No other narrative in history has ever been so moving, so grand, so personal as this one.  I am fascinated by the stories of Zachariah and Elizabeth; of Anna; of Mary and Joseph.  All of them spoke directly to the Holy One, and their prayers were open and honest.   Their journeys from “How, Why, When? to absolute joy and passionate belief are fascinating.

The account in Luke 1:26-38 was most probably told to Luke by the Virgin Mary herself.  The angel pronounced the impossible: “You will conceive in your womb and bring for a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.”  She asked the obvious follow-up question, “How can this be…?”  The simple, powerful answer was given as, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you…With God nothing will be impossible.”

It doesn’t tell us how many blinks, gulps, or minutes of astonishment Mary had before she responded, but we can be sure it was quite a few.  “Let it be to me according to Your word,” was the short sentence of surrender that brought forth the gift of the Savior to the world.

Over and over in life, we find ourselves in uncertain circumstances and we ask in prayer, “How?  Why?” and over and over the answer is now as it was then, “The Holy Spirit will… and “With God nothing will be impossible.” 

I often find myself praying prayers with definite requisitions, scheduled timelines, and directives to how I see the answers, as though they are obvious.  These, I am sure, do not move the heart of God.  And then Christmas comes, and the story moves me to allow my heart to let down its little guard gate – you know the one.  The gate where you are bravely making plans and pushing through and doing all you can to keep yourself going with a smile as you juggle life.   I can physically feel my soul begin to rest as I open my hands and raise them to heaven to say, “Let it be to me according to your word.” 

“Prayer is the battle…Whichever way God engineers circumstances,

the duty is to pray.”  Oswald Chambers

Prayer is more than duty; it is privilege, it is a lifeline, it is an intimate fellowship with the One Who has planned our days and prepared us to walk through them, while He upholds us with His righteous right hand.  But this Christmas, when you surrender your heart, will you also follow through on the prompts of the Spirit?  What needs to change in me?  Who can I minister to even this day?   Emotion without follow through is an empty, rattling wagon.  If you are to surrender, you must do so all the way through to the “birth” of the impossible thing He has called you to.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT

My prayer for you is a “MARY Christmas” this year.  One of peace and patient expectation for the will of God in you and through you.

© Diane Strack 2020