December 18, 2014

Luke 1:37-38 “For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Whatever else you say about it, the Christmas story is a story of faith, in every aspect. Yesterday we had Zechariah’s unbelief, and here we have Mary’s magnificent faith and submission. Gabriel’s words here echo throughout the ages: “Nothing is impossible for God.” After all, almost every part of the story seems completely preposterous on the face of it. Virgin birth indeed! I think one facet of God’s plan was precisely to do things so that the human intellect alone couldn’t explain them, forcing us to choose to believe. If we could figure things out on our own we would in a sense still be in control, but salvation calls for yielding all control and authority to God. It is when we not only accept what Gabriel said but also its corollary, that many things are impossible for us, that we arrive at the peace of resting in Christ. That peace is not passive, because it includes instant obedience to whatever God directs, but it is rock solid, unmoved by circumstances and events. Everyone who is honest will testify that they aren’t fully there yet, even as Paul did, (Philippians 3:12-14) but those with maturity will, like him, commit themselves to that goal. The Christmas story is so familiar to most Americans, at least, that we forget how utterly miraculous it is. It should be a call to faith to everyone, because if God could do that, He can indeed do anything.

This is a strong reminder to me. A week ago I was dreading all that was coming up on my calendar, not feeling like I had the energy or ability to do it all. That was much more like Zechariah than like Mary! In His grace the Lord has renewed my faith and with it my energy, but I shouldn’t need strong measures. God is doing wonderful things all around me, if I will only open my eyes to see them. However full my schedule might be, each thing is just another opportunity for God to show Himself powerful by using even such a one as I am. I’ve got several things happening at once today, and tomorrow it’s one thing after another. That’s no big deal for God! I am to look forward joyfully to what God is going to accomplish through all of it, and give Him the glory and praise even before I see it with my physical eyes.

Father, thank You, indeed, for this reminder. I do pray for my nursing school students as they take my exam today. Thank You for their home room teacher who has been coaching them and who has such a good attitude about it all. I pray that each student would do their honest best, and that everyone would pass. Even the school would accept that as a miracle! I pray for clarity and accuracy as I do the grading, that it would all go quickly, in time to give them the results at their Christmas party tomorrow. I pray that with all that is going on that I would be fully focused on each thing in turn, because I am focused first on You. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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