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And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; 

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

Luke 1:46-56

I exchanged emails last week with a new friend who is going through an unexpected job transition this month. As of last Wednesday – right smack in the season of neatly packaged Christmas gifts and on the brink of confetti-filled new year celebrations – this sweet lady has lost her sole source of income.

This would send most people into a panic.

But when I asked what was next for her, I promptly received this little nugget in my inbox:

“Nothing really new yet. But God is my Rear Guard! His glory is backing me up! He will strengthen me, direct me, and make me a well-watered garden. He’s so FAITHFUL!!”

Wow.

This was not the response I had expected.

Listen, she could have told me that she didn’t know how she was going to make it – that this sucker punch-like blow consumed every corner of her mind every minute of every day. I would have completely expected that. She could have talked about her fear of the unknown, how she wasn’t sure where her next rent payment is coming from or how this will affect her future goals and dreams. She could have listed a million reasons why this is unfair, or at the very least really unfortunate… especially this time of year.

But that wasn’t her response at all. She is God’s humble servant, so her response was all about HIM.

She spoke words of faith in the face of fear.

She spoke words of hope in the midst of the great unknown.

She spoke little about her, but spoke much about Him.

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Her response reminds me of Mary’s song. Sweet, trusting Mary. The Bible says that after the angel told Mary that she – an unlikely virgin – would give birth to the Christ-child, she… threw a huge fit, felt sorry for herself and cried for days?? Nope. She visited her cousin Elizabeth, and she sang. While her life couldn’t get any more unpredictable, she chose to trust, rise up, and fully experience the indescribable miracles that God was working all around and in her… even when she didn’t have any idea how it was all going to play out.

Mary could have chosen to sing a song of despair; a song that was all about her and how this really wasn’t what she had pictured for her life. She could have talked about her fear of persecution and rejection from those who just wouldn’t understand. She could have sung a woeful tune about her lack of preparation, provision, and position that would make this road that much more difficult. She could have focused on the impossible that she would have to overcome, the extra load she would have to bear, and the discomfort that she would have to endure.

But that wasn’t her response at all. She was God’s humble servant, so her response was all about HIM.

And I’m suddenly convicted of every one of my own responses that only served to focus on me and what wasn’t going my way…

This Christmas, instead of it being all about us, let’s help the world see Jesus a little more clearly.

I want others to see Jesus in me as I humbly serve. I want them to hear about who Jesus is as I tell the story of His birth and worship Him for coming to save a broken world. I want them to feel Jesus’ love through me as I love generously with that same patience, compassion and grace. I want His name to be on my lips, even when that service, hope, and love isn’t received or given back in return. This Christmas and the whole year through…

 

Let’s speak words of faith in the face of fear.

Let’s speak words of hope in the midst of the great unknown.

Let’s speak little about our lack, and much about the abundant life that is found in Him.

What song are you singing for the world to hear?

At His feet,

Whitney signature

 

 

{If you are unable to see this video you can view it here.}

Let’s talk: Share a time in your life when God provided in your lack and how you were able to use that story to point others to Him…

Week 4 Challenge: Make a list of worries that have consumed you in this season. Beside each worry, write a characteristic of God found in Mary’s song in Luke 1. Let this list be a reminder of who God is and the abundance you have in Him.

 

Week 4 Reading Plan:

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Week 4 Memory Verse:

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