I realize that Christmas has come and gone, but yet I find myself lingering. As I pack up the decorations and stack them away, I realize my house feels a bit empty. With no stockings all hung by the chimney with care and the nativity scene out of sight, I desire to cling to the memories to remind myself…Jesus is still right here. As I️ approach the New Year, I️ don’t want to struggle to believe.
When We Struggle to Believe
It is a struggle to believe in an invisible God. A God who we cannot physically touch or see. It is a fight to keep living for Him amidst this world full of scoffers and doubters.
I wonder if Mary, the mother of Jesus, ever doubted God’s future promise. I wonder if she felt inadequate despite the words that were spoken over her.
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. Luke 1:28-29
You Matter to God
I wonder if she thought the calling was too great for her. Surely, she must have suffered. She faced rejection from her fiance and her family and friends…not to mention her entire community. To be pregnant and unwed must have hung a shadow of shame over her head; however, let us be reminded what God thinks of us matters more than the thoughts of man. Illegitimate. Pregnant. A crazy story. I wonder how many would struggle to believe?
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. Luke 1:30-31
Mary would have the burden of raising the son of God and bear the pain of watching him be crucified. It could not all make sense to her at this time. How could she become pregnant with the son of a divine God? But God, who is loving and caring and full of grace, gently reminds her who He is forevermore.
For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:37
Let Go, Let God
So often in life, we try to figure everything out. We want to have life go according to plan. But if we willingly lay our lives down and allow God to work mightily…I wonder how our lives would change in the new year. I wonder what could happen if we lived open-handed, accepting what God sends our way.
Mary’s final words that particular day should serve as a great example. And I pray that you and I will let God have His way in our lives as well.
Do you struggle to believe in the invisible? What needs to change?