2002-12-19 - Trust When the Walls Shake
Luke 1:28-29 And coming in, he said to her, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. (NAS)
This has been a very very difficult year for many people around the world. Ask anyone who works for or worked for companies like Boeing, United or Enron. September 11th of last year rattled the civilized world and shook it to it's knees. Many still mourn. The Japanese economy is dangerously unstable. The government of Japan is pumping money into many banks to keep them from collapsing. Our freedoms are under assault by people in power reacting with such severity that they miss the damage they are doing in an effort to make the world safer.
It is difficult to receive news that the company you work for is out of business or can no longer afford to pay you. I have been there. I know. I can not even imagine someone coming to tell me my son was in a building hit by a plane and is now presumed dead and his body may never be recovered. One minute the world is moving along with one set of concerns. In an instant your focus is completely redirected with bone-jarring force. This is likely to be the kind of feeling we see here in Mary.
She is "greatly troubled". Well, imagine for yourself that there is a real live angel standing in front of you. While there may be a sense of wonder and awe at such a sight, I can also begin to imagine that Mary, or anyone else, would be troubled. Her experience has just been irreversibly changed in a direction that few can understand. Yet, in the end, in the middle of what must be a wonderful and frightening experience this young lady has the faith to submit to the will of God without being able to grasp completely what is happening.
This young woman, probably no more than age 14, shows the faith and trust of Job. Mary has just been told something that in this world is completely impossible is about to happen - to her. How do you explain this? God is about to perform a miracle in her life that will possibly end her betrothal to Joseph and place her life in danger of stoning. We would do well to follow her example in faith. When the walls rattle and our life is adjusted for us to trust God. Can we be upset? I think there is room for a little fear and uncertainty, tears, anger or upset even in the middle of the trust. But in the end, the trust and faith can hold like an anchor in a storm. God's grace is sufficient if we will accept it. And once the grace is established, His peace will follow.
Job 13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. (NKJV)
Lord Jesus - Bathe us in your grace so that we can not miss it and your peace may follow even in the midst of our troubles. Help us to trust when we can not understand. Be a lamp on our path. Amen.
Grace & Peace,