December 10, 2016

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.”

Every year, at least, I read this passage again, and it never ceases to impact me. Both Gabriel’s flat, matter-of-fact statement and Mary’s remarkable faith and submission are worthy of a great deal of reflection and application. We generally choke on Gabriel’s use of “nothing.” The Japanese says, “not a single thing,” which doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. We may accept this as an abstract philosophical statement, but when it comes down to practical application, we blow a fuse. We get caught in our finite perspective and can’t wrap our minds around the reality that the One we worship spoke the universe into being. Scientists who aren’t dead set on trying to liberate themselves from moral responsibility acknowledge the principle of irreducible complexity, that is, the idea that the odds of things turning out the way they are without a guiding hand and mind is infinitely small. Put that way, it’s far harder to believe there there is no Creator than that there is. Given that as a foundation, Gabriel’s statement is only logical. Mankind has tried such word tricks as, “Can God create a rock too big for Him to move?” in an attempt to deny Gabriel’s statement, but that is foolishness on the face of it. Mary was not so foolish. Rather, she submitted herself to her Lord in a way that every one of us should emulate. We will not be asked to go through what she was, but then she was not asked to go through what we are. Each person’s path is individual, and we bear individual responsibility for how we deal with it. If we will follow Mary in the path of submitted faith, we will discover that God’s plans are far better than our wildest imaginations.

My faith has been challenged many times, as it is being challenged even right now. Each time I have chosen to trust and obey, things have turned out well. The less I have done that, the rougher it has been on me. I struggle with the line between trust and presumption. I feel I have a tendency to laziness, to dumping things on God not because I can’t do them but because I don’t want to. That’s not faith! I tend to get paralyzed by problems, withdrawing and not doing anything either because I have no idea what to do or because what I know to do seems too distasteful. That never benefits anything. Regardless of the circumstance, I do know to seek God and choose to submit myself to Him, and that is something He will enable me to do if I so choose. Right now, I am being reminded to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, so yesterday I spent three hours total taking tracts and fliers to homes in the area. In contrast to how I have done it before, I rang doorbells over half the time, and had some delightful responses. Not being by nature a “people person,” I would prefer to put material in mail slots and be done with it, but obedience was the better course by far. Whatever happens to the land next door, I think we are going to have good attendance at our Christmas services, and hopefully some real harvest in the Kingdom. I need to remember Gabriel’s statement and Mary’s response, and do likewise.

Father, I realized that the more I did that yesterday the more I got into it, and it became enjoyable. Thank You. Thank You for the almost universally good response I got from the people I talked to. I do pray that they would follow through and we would have a full house, both the 24th and the 25th. More than that, I pray that the seed that has been planted, not just yesterday but in the past, would bear abundant harvest, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

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