Mary was just a girl.
She wasn’t highly educated. She wasn’t wealthy. She wasn’t perfect. Mary was in many ways ordinary, except in one: she loved God greatly.
And of all the young girls through all the ages, God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. What an incredible honor. And yet, with this extreme honor came gossip, misunderstanding, and pain. No one could understand what she went through and I can only imagine that she struggled with bouts of loneliness from time to time bearing the burden of her extreme honor and the consequences that followed.
Yet, one of Mary’s many strengths was her faith. We see it displayed in today’s verses. Though she didn’t exactly understand the angel’s announcement, she humbly and willingly said “yes” to the assignment.
“Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” – Luke 1:38
Her “yes” in that moment meant honor.
Her “yes” in that moment meant surrendering her will to God’s will and a life of sacrifice.
Her “yes” to God didn’t happen only once. Mary continued to say “yes” to God for the rest of her life.
And in that “yes,” in the midst of the unknown, in the details she didn’t understand and the future she didn’t know, Mary continued to trust God and keep her posture of surrender and sacrifice. Being the Mother of the Chosen One, the Savior of the World, wasn’t an easy task. Yet she continued to draw her strength from God. She continued to live her life to love God greatly, she continued to have faith in the middle of her heartbreak.
Sweet friend, like Mary, sometimes your assignment will be misunderstood by others. Obey anyway. Sometimes your mission will cost you. Sacrifice anyway.
Mary didn’t have the full picture of what God was up to, and neither do we. But, like Mary, we need to allow our faith to fill in the gaps of what we don’t understand. Following Jesus isn’t easy. Being the mother of Jesus, wasn’t either. Mary had to live a life of surrender and sacrifice. That was God’s will for her. Yes, she was highly favored but coupled with that favor was choosing to live a life of surrender and sacrifice.
We are not called to live easy lives. We are women who have been called by God to live lives that glorify our Lord. For Mary that meant surrender and sacrifice. For others, it might mean something else. But we are all called to glorify God with the days, talents, and gifts He has given us.
And I love the glimpse of joy we see in Acts 1:13–14:
When they had entered Jerusalem, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James were there. All these continued together in prayer with one mind, together with the women, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (Emphasis mine).
In the midst of the disciples’ excitement in seeing Jesus after His resurrection, they gathered in Jerusalem, and there in the middle of it all was Mary! I can’t even imagine the excitement she must have felt after Jesus’ resurrection!
Was her life of surrender and sacrifice hard? Yes.
Was her life of surrender and sacrifice worth it? You better believe it! And so is yours!
We have a saying in the United States: “Freedom isn’t Free.” That holds true for our salvation as well. The path of obedience Jesus followed to pay for our sins cost Him his life. The path of obedience Mary had to follow as His mother, cost her dearly as well. And yet, both on the other side of obedience, surrender, and sacrifice know it was all worth it.
I’m not sure what you are walking through right now, sweet friend. But let me encourage you with this, one day this surrender, this sacrifice, this heartbreak, will end. This world is temporary but heaven is forever. Make choices today that will impact heaven for eternity, just like Mary.
Love God Greatly!
Week 4 Challenge:
Surrendering can be hard and yet beautiful at the same time. We see this in the lives of the women we visit this week. Who in your life has modeled this well? Take time this week to encourage her with your words and let her know that her faithfulness has impacted your life.
Week 4 Reading Plan
Week 4 Memory Verse
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