“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” Luke 1:35
I simply cannot imagine what it would have felt like to be Mary. I can’t. To know what was about to happen in her life, I wonder if she understood the full magnitude of the news from the angel.
Carson asked me one day, “Mama, what would you do if an angel appeared before you?”
What a question from a four year old!
I told him, “Oh, I don’t know. I can’t imagine what that would be like. I might stand there in awe or I may fall down in fear. I just don’t know.”
You know, I think about the news of Jesus that was delivered to Mary. God sent an angel. He was announcing to her, “Hey, Mary! Your life is about to change. You are going to become pregnant and this baby is going to be the Savior of all people.”
When live changing events happen to us, they are not announced by an angel. Edith Schaeffer said, “The the about real life is that important events don’t announce themselves. Trumpets don’t blow, drums don’t beat.” And isn’t that true.
I’ve known Jeffrey since I was about 12. I’ve always known he had an interest in being a military man. So, I wasn’t surprised when he asked me what I thought about him joining. I knew it would be life changing, but to the extent….well, I still don’t know what lies ahead.
The thing is, God doesn’t tell us ahead of time how it is going to turn out. If He told us how difficult the journey would be, we wouldn’t serve Him.
He didn’t tell Mary that she would lose her friends or that Joseph would be upset or that her parents would not understand. He didn’t tell her that she was going to have to travel a long journey while pregnant and that Herod would want to kill her son. If Mary was told those things, she may have said, “Sorry, angel. I’m not your girl. Tell God to find someone else.”
So many times, though, God will lead us to something (not as miraculous as being the mother of Jesus), but something he wants us to do for him and we come up with excuse after excuse and reason after reason on why we aren’t the right person. We tell God to find someone else.
If God didn’t put us in these situations to rest our faith in him, life would flat line. There would be no moments in the valley and there would be no moments on the mountaintop. BLAH! Oh, what we would miss out on if we didn’t allow God to use us!
A former coworker of mine made a move with her family. Her husband left his job at the First Baptist Church and took a secular job, but was going to be able to serve in other ways. She was leaving her job to be a stay at home mom. Their two daughters would be going to a new school. When I talked to her about it, I had goose bumps as she said, “I’m totally at peace with this. It’s a God thing.”
Wow! To have that kind of faith that God is there with you and will take care of you and your family.
The angel told Mary in Luke 1:35, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” I think that is what made Johnna at peace with her move. The Holy Spirit came upon her and told her that God would provide.
A lot of times, we don’t stop and think about things as being “a God thing.”
I remember back in 2006 I had been in Bowling Green with the boys. My mom had called me and said that my grandfather wasn’t doing so well. On my way home, she said he had passed away. Immediately, I called Jeffrey. He called our preacher and spread the word of my grandfather’s passing on the deacon prayer chain. I was distraught driving with my children and hearing this news. This was my Pa Tootsie. I was his favorite (or at least he made me feel like it). I named my middle child after him. I couldn’t believe my Pa was gone. Feeling like I couldn’t handle the news, Isuddenly felt a peace come over me. A peace that said, “He’s not sick anymore. He’s home now. It is ok.”
This summer when my grandmother passed away, Jeffrey was away at CHBOLC in Columbia, SC, and I had taken the baby with me to Bowling Green to buy something to wear to the funeral. I came out of Target and put the baby in the van. As I walked around to the other side, I heard a man shouting, “Ma’am. Ma’am.” I turned around and this guy was approaching me. “You have a flat tire.” This guy and two other men I didn’t know came to my rescue. They changed my tire and gave me advice on what to do next. The closest tire center was closed so I went to the nearest gas station to put air in my cute little spare.
75 cents for air
I had NO MONEY.
I went into the store to see if I could purchase something with my debit card and get cash back, but the store didn’t allow it. I began crying and telling the little store clerk what happened and I just needed the money to put air in my tire so I could get home. He handed over the money and I cried as I thanked him and walked out the door.
Those are “God things.” They may sound insignificant to some, but God was at work. He knew how distraught I was over the news of my grandfather’s death and he filled my soul with the peace I needed to get home. He sent those men to help me out in my time of need. He put compassion in the heart of that college kid so he would give me the money for air.
God is with us all the time. In every instance. We just have to be aware. Ready to hear. Ready to receive his blessing.
My dear friend and Sunday school teacher Glenda asked the question once, “When do you feel God’s presence the most?” For me, in everyday life. When I’m sitting in the yard watching my kids play and the breeze blows, I hear God whisper, “I love you.” When I spill my hot coffee on my husband, and he laughs it off, I feel God’s mercy and forgiveness. When I am home alone with 3 crazy kids while my husband is out of town and it seems as if the house is falling apart, God says, “I am with you.”
People talk about their moments with God, and when I first started attending church and hearing these stories, I thought, “How cool. I want that to happen to me.” I soon learned that I am not like those people and my moments with God are not like theirs. I have found Him to overcome me in my everyday moments as well as my valley and mountaintop moments. To me, that is such a blessing. To be able to hear his voice in all that I do.
One thing that I have learned very quickly as a “new” Christian is that nothing is impossible with God. That is our church motto. Those at Calvary live their lives believing that and putting their faith in God. It just overflows and fills the hearts of all who are near. We have so many types of survivors in our church, abuse, cancer, drugs, loss of children. Their faith in God and their trust in his promise that nothing is impossible with Him is amazing.
Because of their example, I have been able to positively look to Him in my times of weakness and in my struggles, especially this last summer when I was a single mom with 3 kids (for longer than Jeffrey and I had planned), coaching 4 year old soccer, teaching vbs, getting through the end of baseball, losing my grandmother, having that flat tire, losing power in the front of my house, having the car mess up, going back to work after being off for 5 months, getting 3 kids “back into the swing of things.” That was not an easy time in my life, but God was there with me. He provided for me in so many ways. I couldn’t have made it without him.
As I feel like I am beginning to ramble, I’ll leave you with this:
Life is not easy. God never promised it would be. We have to have the faith of Mary and allow God to have His will completed. We have to believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us because with him, nothing is impossible. If he leads us to it, he will see us through it.
I pray that throughout this journey, you will have an open heart to how God wants to use you. Like Mary, may you be able to say with faith and confidence, “May it be done to me according to your word.”
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37