I keep hearing on the radio; "Christmas is not a joyful time for many people, for many it is a time of sorrow or difficulty."
I can relate to that. Christmas every year is a challenge in some way. The holidays bring to mind memories of someone that we once loved who is no longer in our lives, or possibilities that never came to fruition and broke our hearts. I have friends who are facing the death of a loved one, the terrifying illness of a child, life without a job and no hope of one in sight, broken relationships that tear at the heart and steal our joy; and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
All of these painful things can lead us to our knees to cry out to the One who said that He came that we might have life, and might have it more abundantly. He came to offer us true hope in a broken world.
He came to a young, unmarried girl, who faced hardship at every turn, and ultimately the death of her young (33 yr. old) son. Her first response was one of total submission to the will of her heavenly Father, no matter what difficulty it brought to her life. "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
How could she respond with such abandon? Sure, she was to be the mother to the promised, long awaited, and anticipated Messiah, but it was to come with unspeakable difficulty!
Being an instrument for God's use requires that I give up my own plan and agenda, and allow God to replace it with His. God never forces Himself or His will on us. He invites us to be part of His big, beautiful story. A story often full of pain on this earth, but with an eternal reward that will make every moment of suffering worth it all! Will I choose obedience that leads to joy? Will I have eternity in view? Mary did.
Merry Christmas every one!