Into the despair comes these words:
"Just when Mary’s astonishment over meeting Gabriel calmed down, her heart took another cataclysmic leap. Pregnant?! If Gabriel had the message right, then God’s master plan for Mary was totally out of sync with what she had imagined. The good news was that God’s promise to put an heir on the throne of David would be fulfilled through Mary’s son. The bad news for Mary was that she was going to have to explain this pregnancy to her family.
It was no easy road, but God faithfully guided Mary every step of the way; her faith never wavered. If Mary could trust God’s plans, then so can we. Maybe you know what it’s like to feel that a situation is the opposite of what you hoped for, but perhaps is all part of a bigger plan. It’s okay to doubt or be afraid or even a bit angry in that circumstance. Ultimately God asks us to let go of our own agendas and trust that the Master plan is ultimately in our best interests. Trust. That’s all God asks of you."(Tammy Wiens d365.org)
My previous post was celebrating the comfort of knowing that God is with me. Today, He feels far away.
I feel guilty.
My trust is wavering and anger and fear have reigned and caused doubt and despair. My life is not at all what I want it to be and I'm having a hard time trusting that all this pain is good for those who live with me and are getting less of the wife and mother that they need.
Honestly, it ISN'T good.
This is a world of sin and bad things happen because of the broken world. God says He will work these bad things for the good of those who love Him. So, I have to trust He will. After all, He's fulfilled so many promises and worked so many miracles in my life. The bad has always been turned to good. I know He'll do it again.
Right now, though, my prayer is less of Mary's "May it be to me as you have said" and more of Jesus', "Father, let this cup pass from me..."
Help me, Lord, as I struggle with the "not my will, but thine be done" response. Please bring me to the point where I can wholeheartedly have Mary's attitude and trust even with the consequences of Your holy plan.
Advent is not just a time of joy.
It's a time of pain.
- The pain of those who don't believe and gossip and turn away from an unwed pregnant teenager.
- The pain of family not giving a room to this young woman and her husband.
- The pain of a husband's helplessness in finding a clean and healthy place for his young wife to give birth.
- The pain of labor and the birth of a child.
It's a place of fear.
- The fear of "What will people say?"
- The fear of a beloved being killed if things are made public.
- The fear of traveling so far away from home.
- The fear of not finding a place to stay.
- The fear of angels appearing.
- The fear of having your baby boy killed by a jealous king.
- The fear of running away to a foreign land to save your baby.
In my season of waiting, I understand the story more deeply than ever before. This season of waiting for Christ is filled with pain and with fear. That's just an integral part of it.
The impossible irony is the pain and fear are needed for there to be trust. Trust that what we see and what we experience is all part of a greater and bigger and impossibly miraculous plan.
And Advent? It's all about the trust.