Posted by: glorifyhim1 | December 11, 2011

Saying Yes to God

This morning I sat in church totally mesmerized by the choir’s performance of “The First Noel.” Through narration, song, and video, they reminded us of all those years ago when Jesus came to earth through a humble birth. Although He was born to be a king, neither His birth nor life befitted royalty. Jesus was born in obscurity to a young mother engaged to a simple carpenter.

I found my mind wandering to that young mother. I wonder what Mary thought when she first looked into the eyes of Baby Jesus? Did she question the report of the shepherds as they told of the angels who announced the news of Jesus’ birth? Luke tells us: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). While Mary knew that her baby was the Son of God, I wonder if she fully understood just what that would really mean.

And then … a little girl seated between her grandmother and me reached over and touched my hand. She smiled and eagerly clutched my hand as I closed my fingers around hers. As I sat there holding her tiny hand, I remembered holding the hands of my own children, who are now all grown. Those tiny hands, surely not unlike the hands of a young Jesus clutching the hands of His mother, Mary. Suddenly, as I felt the tiny hand within mine, and thought about the little hands of my children when they were small, it occurred to me what saying yes to God meant for Mary.

Saying yes to God meant ….

  • Putting God’s plans ahead of her own. Mary had no way of knowing if Joseph would understand. Agreeing to be the mother of God’s Son could mean the end of her planned marriage to Joseph.

Saying yes to God meant …

  • Placing her reputation on the line. Other people might not understand. Would they believe Mary or think she had been unfaithful to her promise to Joseph? Would she be the subject of gossip? Would should be ridiculed? What would others think of her?

Saying yes to God meant …

  • Committing to an unknown future. Mary surely did not know all that lay ahead for both her and her Son. When she and Joseph presented Baby Jesus in the temple, Luke tells us they “marveled at those things that were spoken of Him” (see Luke 2:33). Simeon told Mary: “‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed'” (Luke 2:34-35). With all the uncertainties Mary faced, however, her song of praise recorded in Luke 2:46-55 reveals a response of faith and confidence in her God.

Saying yes to God meant …

  • Surrendering to both the joys and trials that accompanied her commitment. As the mother of Jesus, Mary would see her Son face rejection, misunderstanding of His mission, attempts against His life and plots to kill Him, and ultimately His death upon the cross. At times, she would even have trouble understanding Him herself (see Luke 8:19-21). Although we do not hear about Mary after Jesus’ crucifixion, since she was present then, in all probability was able to rejoice over His resurrection and final victory.

As we can see in Mary’s life, saying yes to God isn’t always the easy or convenient thing to do. Sometimes there are no accolades or noticeable rewards. Mary said yes and the tiny hand that she held and led through childhood, she later saw nailed to a tree. But somehow I believe that even if Mary knew at the beginning what she knew at the end, she would still say yes. In spite of the pain, suffering, and difficulties, I’m sure that Mary would still sing a song of praise to God her (and our) Savior!

 

What about you and me? Is God waiting for us to say yes to Him in some area of our lives? Whatever it is, and no matter whether we reap joy or pain in the process, true victory in life comes from saying yes to God. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5).

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