“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’” Luke 1:38a, b (NIV)
Do you ever struggle with feeling like maybe God should have picked someone else to fulfill your roles — as a wife, a mom, a business owner, leader, employee, neighbor or friend?
I remember a time when I begged God to make me just like the super-organized mom I heard speak at a parenting seminar. I mentally listed what I discerned must be her secret to success and set about to imitate her. But it didn’t take long before I was absolutely miserable. I mentally beat myself up for not having what it obviously took to be a great mom. What was wrong with me?
Then one day in Bible study, I read the story of Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus. My heart beat fast as I realized she didn’t meet the standard of Supermom that I’d set for myself.
Somehow, just as she was, God chose her to be Jesus’ mother. And the only qualification she seemed to have was her willingness. We see her trust in God’s plan in our key verse, Luke 1:38a, b: “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.'”
Mary could have easily rattled off a list of the reasons she should be passed over for such an incredible privilege.
Just a simple girl from a town of no great consequence.
Oh … and a virgin. Which makes having a baby impossible.
And yet, we find the angel Gabriel standing before her in Luke 1 proclaiming she has been chosen. That she, Mary, is the blessed and highly favored vessel God wants to use to bring forth His one and only Son, Jesus. The Messiah. (Luke 1:30-33)
She has only one question: “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1:34, NIV)
Gabriel graciously answers, explaining to her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the power of the Most High will overshadow her. He tells her about the miraculous pregnancy of her much-older cousin, Elizabeth, and reminds her that what seems impossible to her is absolutely possible with God. (Luke 1:35-37)
I confess I am humbled and amazed by Mary’s question. All she wanted to know was how the pregnancy was going to be physically possible.
She didn’t ask any of the questions I might have been tempted to ask, like, “Are you sure you have the right person? Don’t you know how unqualified I am? Have you considered asking one of the women just down the street? Surely any one of them would be a better choice than me.”
It’s so easy to look around and think there are plenty of other people way more qualified than we are, isn’t it?
All God wanted from Mary was her willingness. And He let me know that day in Bible study it was all He wanted from me too. He had already given me the exact qualities He knew my kids would need in a mother. I just needed to lift my willingness up to Him daily and let Him help me be the best version of me.
Maybe you aren’t feeling very qualified today. Maybe you feel like God should pass you over and pick someone else for the assignments He’s placed before you. If that’s you, I want you to know this — God absolutely loves to take ordinary people and do extraordinary things in them, through them and with them.
He’s not waiting on you to impress Him. He simply wants you to say “yes” to Him.
Yes, Lord. I’m Yours. All of me. All for You.
Let’s stop offering God our excuses and lists of why He can’t work in us and through us. Let’s believe with our whole heart that nothing is too hard for Him. And let’s lay down our measuring sticks of perfection and humbly bow our heads as we offer Him our willingness today.
Dear Lord, thank You so much for the beautiful example of surrender You have given me through Mary. I lift up my willingness to You today in all areas of my life — at home, at work, in ministry and in my relationships. My greatest desire is to be the woman You’ve called me to be and not anyone else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m surprised by how far I’ve come.
Two years of healing. Two years of focusing on my own health. Two years of learning how to sit in the quiet with myself and be OK. Two years of believing God for good even when things felt not good at all. Two years of going home to an empty house and counting the...
Yes! And whenever I feel like I am not enough, I smile. Because my weakness is my vindication. Christ is my sufficiency! And He is more than enough!
Thank you for always sharing so vulnerably. It helps more than you think
I’m so grateful that God takes the common and uses us for uncommon purposes…that He adds the extra to the ordinary. Thank you for reminding those of us who feel unlikely to play a part in His-story!
You might hear it a lot, but your sharing so openly and honestly has touched my life and the lives of my family. I started with your book “Unglued” and was hooked. It can’t be easy to be so open, but it certainly makes someone like me feel less alone as I have seen similarities in the struggles and trials that arise that we never saw coming. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to share as you do. If any critical voice should try and knock you down, don’t let it! I am far too familiar with that voice and I hope that you block it out with God’s Word as you encourage us to do! You are very much appreciated and covered in prayer!!! God bless as you continue to serve Him so faithfully and directly through your personal life’s journey and all the scars that may come with it. With each scar, there is a promise of God to be there to heal each one no matter how long it may take. You are touching many lives through His grace. Please never give up!!! You are definitely not alone when dealing with the harsh realities of life and the process it takes to fight past fear, brokenness, depression, grief, loss, etc. If I could give you a hug, I surely would. But I will continue to pray for God’s blessings on your life because we need your input and hope that there is a way to get beyond what we face. Thank you for being willing to do so. Thank you for answering God’s call. Thank you for fighting and not giving up. Thank you for helping to spread truth to stomp out the horrid lies that crop up and try to steal, kill, and destroy. How much truth is sorely needed in this dark world that seems so unrelenting and cruel. You are never alone!!