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“May it be to me as you have said.”

December 16, 2008

I am the Lord’s servant . . . May it be to me as you have said.” -Luke 1:38

dsc_0006This is Mary’s response to the angel’s news that she’s been chosen to bear the incarnation of God into the world. At first glance Mary’s news seems to be nothing but glorious—she’s been given an amazing task! But the implications of such news could also bring her hurt and pain. It’s easy to read this familiar story and gloss over the hard aspects of this news that Mary would have deal with. Joseph, at first, doesn’t believe her story of an angel visit and decides to divorce her quietly (Matthew 1:19). I wonder how that conversation went? Did Mary end up in tears? Did the neighbors’ gossip mercilessly? Did her parents think she was lying? Did she doubt God in the dark moments of night, lying on her bed feeling alone and misunderstood? Or did she never waver in her faith and completely trust God for her future? Whatever the case, it seems her overwhelming response was one of praise.

Mary spends three months visiting Elizabeth, her cousin, who’s own experience confirms Mary’s. Mary responds to Elizabeth’s greeting with a hymn of praise known as the Magnificat—meaning “glorifies”—showing how overwhelmed she is by God’s favor:

My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.

It seems no matter what hardships Mary may have faced, her focus was on God, not her circumstances. Even if no one but Elizabeth believed her story, she was trusting the Lord for her future and the outcome.

Like Mary, God’s specific calling on my life may bring aspects of hardship as well. Do I embrace my circumstances like Mary did? Some circumstances—motherhood comes to mind—are a gift, yet will have challenging aspects to them that will cause me to rely on the Lord. Other circumstances may simply be trials.  I may be tempted to feel misunderstood or wronged at times in the course of following God’s plan for my life. But will my spirit still rejoice? Will I still trust God’s Word and hand on my life? Only there will I find true joy.

“May it be to me as you have said.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2008 9:01 am

    Thank you for the reminder that “It seems no matter what hardships Mary may have faced, her focus was on God, not her circumstances.” My circumstances aren’t even hardships, they are holiday festivities, traditions, and shopping….but still I can focus more on them than on the Savior whom we celebrate. Thank you also for the reminder of faith-filled submission that is humble and says “yes” to God.

  2. December 16, 2008 9:53 am

    Just reading through that passage after reading your post, I’m struck by how incredible Mary’s faith was. God hadn’t spoken for 400 years. Israel felt as if they’d been forgotten, abandoned. Yet here Mary was, a young girl, chosen by God to bear the Son of the Most High, offering herself as His servant. Somehow, she had learned of Him, had sought Him, had found her hope in Him, and He was coming not just for her, but for His people. How often I have forgotten who He is and what He has done in the past as my circumstances close in on me. Few are the times I praise Him for His rescue of my own soul, let alone for the work He is doing all around me.

    Thanks for this post today.

  3. Bethany permalink
    December 16, 2008 12:04 pm

    So good Danielle. I needed to read this today it has been a rough week and a half for me and I needed the reminder of where to look. THANK YOU. HUGS

  4. December 16, 2008 8:48 pm

    God reminded me of Mary, too, recently, and how oddly (or so those of her day would think) God went about bringing redemption: to cause a virgin to bear God’s only Son…something we have heard so often that we forget how controversial that must have been in that day. It gave me hope and contentment for the way God may be bringing about redemption in and through my life, in ways that I can often question and perhaps even others question. But, like Mary, I, along with you want to say, “May it be to me as you have said.”

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