Saturday, December 8, 2007


As we continue to ponder what it must have been like to be Mary, we must realize that Mary was not a saint or a deified being. She was an ordinary, teenage, Jewish girl, still living at home with her parents. She washed dishes, helped with the housework, went to fetch water, possibly tended the animals….all the ordinary things a girl would do around the house. So what was it about her that caused God to choose her to be the mother of His only Son? I think our answer is found in a little verse tucked away in II Chronicles 16:9 "for the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth in search of one whose heart is perfect toward Him." Notice it did not say a perfect person or even a perfect heart, for had that been what the Father was looking for, He would not have found one on this earth. But rather it says He was looking…searching…for a heart that was "perfect toward Him." He was looking for a heart that was available, a heart that was obedient, a heart that was open to His leading.

Did he find it? Listen for yourselves to Mary’s response to the visit from Gabriel when he gave her the news "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me as thou hast said." (Luke 1: 38). What would YOU have said had you been met by an angel and told YOU were going to bear God’s child?! I’ve tried to picture myself in that position. First of all, to my knowledge, I’ve never seen an angel (although my granddaughter comes pretty close!) I can think of one instance in my life where I MAY have….but not like Mary saw Gabriel. I have no doubt that we encounter angels all the time. God even tells us to be careful "lest we entertain angels unaware". So we MAY have been protected by them, led by them and been in their presence unknowingly.

Mary, on the other hand, KNEW that she was seeing an angel! Gabriel was a special messenger of God and he spoke directly and audibly to her. There was no mistake. Just that much would be mind boggling to me. But once I caught my breath or picked myself up off the floor from actually SEEING an angel, to hear and comprehend his message would have definitely knocked me off my feet.

I would have had a thousand questions! "Why me?" "What will people say?" "How will I face Joseph?" "Will it be a normal pregnancy and delivery?" But Mary just accepted Gabriel’s words and submitted herself completely to the Lord without question. It reminds me of a song we have sung so often "When you walk with the Lord in the light of his word, what a glory He sheds on our way. What He says we will do, where he sends we will go, never fear only trust and obey." That is exactly what Mary did. She obeyed and she trusted God to work out the details.

As we approach this Christmas season, maybe we need to do a heart check. It is doubtful that God will come to us and choose us for a task like Mary’s. But….He is still looking for hearts that are perfect toward Him. How do we respond? When the lines are long at the check out and the cashier is a real grouch, He is looking for a heart that will lavish grace. Do we?? When the days have been full of shopping or fighting traffic after a long day at work, and our spouse asks us to do something for them, do we gripe and complain, whine and moan, or do we say "yes" and do it "as unto the Lord"? When we are making Christmas goodies for our neighbors, we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to take some to the neighbor who was rude to us or spoke ill of us to another neighbor, do we stiffen our neck and say "Never!" or do we say "Yes, Lord" and take them with a smile? When God prompts us to share Christ with someone, do we make excuses and clam up or do we walk across the room and share what He lays on our hearts, trusting Him with the results?.

He is looking for hearts that are open toward Him, hearts willing to trust and obey….sometimes without understanding why. What is the condition of your heart today?

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