I’m trying to practice displaying a quiet and gentle spirit. I’m practicing humility, fortitude and generosity.
But inside all I want to do is scream that it’s not fair! Why do I have to do all this? When am I going to get mine? Can I tell God all about it? Will he mind if I complain to Him? He understands me and will speak back to me. He will calm my antsy spirit and help me understand why I need to chill out.
As I typed the above lines my reminder popped up on my screen. ‘The Angelus’ – Now.
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.”
How true. Mary did ask a question, I’d like to point that out. She asked a logistical question and said, “How’s that gonna work?” Not sarcastically or unbelieving, just a simple question. The angel didn’t say,“Hey! Don’t ask questions!” He did not question her faith in God. He did not get angry with her for not knowing, or not trusting. He told her the answer. Lovingly. He told her all she needed to know. No details. No ‘It’s all going to be ok’ pep talks. Just a straight forward answer to her question.
Then she resigned herself. ‘Be it does unto me…’ I would have had some follow up questions. Here is my opportunity. I love that Mary did ask a question. She was interested; she was curious. She was obedient. And she got her answer!
My struggle lies with buy in. I would ask the question. I would get the answer. I would want some more details. The angel would probably have indulged me. Then I would have asked for a guarantee that all would be well and the angel would probably have said, ‘Nevermind.’ Here is my cross. I’m working on it.
God did not question her faith. He did not question her trust. He sent an angel to announce His vision to her. She accepted. The act of her acceptance indicates a sort of request. Did God ask Mary to do this? The angel spoke matter-of-factly in his annunciation of her upcoming pregnancy. This certainly would have been alarming news to her. But she accepted it. She could have said, ‘I’d really rather not. Maybe you can choose someone else.’ Therein lies her beautiful and gentle spirit. No details, just a simple question on how it would all work and a profound, ‘Yes.’ I bet she went inside that day to her mom and day and said, ‘The most amazing thing just happened to me.’ I wonder if they knew already or if the Holy Spirit filled them with a sense of understanding and grace. Remember when Joseph heard about it, he was going to divorce her quietly. Who would blame him? But the Angel of the Lord came and talked to him too. I wonder how Mary told him. I’m sure it would have been difficult for both of them. Him not fully understanding and her only showing her trust.
Practical application is what I’m all about. God speaks to me in and through my husband. Sometimes I feel selfish and I ask, ‘Why don’t we do this one my way?’ or ‘Can we compromise?’ Mary didn’t ask God to compromise. She didn’t say, ‘How about after college or maybe after we are married. Then people won’t judge me.’ She simply said ok. When I struggle in my ok, I usually want to say, “Ok. I’ll do this for you and what can you do for me?” I love this approach! It seems so fair. So right. How is getting pregnant when you’re 14 with the Son of God who is going to die horrifically 30+ years later fair? Not so much, yeah? In comparison, my ‘cross’ seems so minute; so petty. My mantra should be…
Behold, I am also the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to they word.
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