Mary, did you ever wonder if it was all real?
The angel appearing with his unbelievable message; the shepherds, barely able to contain their excitement, rushing in to see the baby and spouting a garbled story of more angels singing in the sky; the wise men travelling miles to see with their unusual selection of gifts; Simeon and Anna holding the baby, praising God for the fulfilment of his promises and celebrating that, at last, the Messiah was here.
When the flurry of excitement was over, when Herod’s decree forced you to flee to Egypt, when your focus turned to protecting your precious child and keeping him alive, did you ever start to wonder if it had all been a dream?
And did you ever question why?
Did it seem to you that God’s plan had been interrupted… or even destroyed?
How did you hold it in tension – that you had seen God at work in ways you had never imagined, that you knew what had been birthed was unquestionably from him, but at the same time the harsh reality of the present made no sense?
As the child grew in obscurity, did you ever wonder if God still had a plan?
I don’t know how it all felt, but I can’t begin to tell you how much your story encourages me today, because, on a much smaller scale, I relate.
I know what it’s like to receive a challenging and unexpected call to be part of what God is doing.
I’ve experienced the joy of seeing God start something exciting and new, of witnessing him at work in amazing ways, including ways that no-one else has seen and that in some cases I can’t even share.
And now I’ve known the disappointment of seeing it interrupted, and I’ve struggled.
Why would God start something so good, that was birthed in so much prayer, only for this to happen? Was he really in it? Was I foolish to think he could use me?
Why did he let me catch a glimpse of what he could do, only for it to be snatched away?
I don’t have any answers, but your story encourages me that he does have a plan, that he finishes what he starts. I don’t know when or how, but I know that he will.
His ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts, but he will bring his plan to fruition.
Thank you for your example – for believing that nothing was impossible, for surrendering to God’s plan, and for never giving up even when it got hard. Thank you for teaching me how to wait well.
“Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” (Luke 2:19 NLT)
“His mother stored all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51 NLT)
You encourage me to hold onto what I’ve seen – never to forget, but to store these things in my heart – and to allow what I’ve seen to give me hope. I suspect that throughout those quiet years, you were the only one who truly saw, and I believe you knew there was more to come, even if you weren’t quite sure what that “more” would look like. I think you knew that God’s plan hadn’t been derailed but that he would fulfil his purpose.
Thank you for helping me to trust the same.