Overshadowed: An Excerpt from Christi Gee's Newest Book
- Christi Gee Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2017 28 Dec
“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word’” (Luke 1:38).
There are a few quotes about motherhood that cause me to pause when I consider them in light of Mary as a mommy.
“For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
~ William Ross Wallace
But what if the one in the cradle already rules the world?
“Sooner or later we all quote our mothers.”
~ Bern Williams
Is there anything Jesus said that is rooted in his mom’s advice?
And finally, this one:
“Making the decision to have a child … is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
~ Elizabeth Stone
That one gets me; I know the reality of that statement fully. Watching my grown children launch is some of the toughest parenting I’ve done because I have very little say on where those pieces of my heart go and what they encounter and endure. To think of Mary watching that piece of her heart go to the cross sends chills up my spine.
There’s much we don’t know or can’t fathom about Mary, but what we do know about her speaks volumes and offers questions back to us for our own surrendered lives.
Consider this paraphrased version of her conversation with Gabriel:
Gabe: “Hey there! This is your lucky day. God is with you.”
Mary (to herself): “Who is this stranger and how did he get in my room? Who says that to a girl they don’t even know?”
Gabe: “It’s all good. Don’t be scared. Look, you’re going to have a baby boy named Jesus. He will have a lot of names, actually. One of those will be Son of the Most High.”
“But wait! There’s more!”
“He will be the fulfiller of that prophecy you’ve heard about all your life — the one your people have waited almost 1000 years to see come true.”
Mary: “How? I am a virgin.”
Gabe: “God’s power through his Spirit will overshadow you. Thus, this child will be both holy and the Son of God.”
“But wait! There’s more!”
“Your old barren cousin Elizabeth is already in her third trimester, and it’s a boy also! For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Mary: “Alrighty then.”
(paraphrased from Luke 1:26-38)
When presented with the impossible and unimaginable, Mary simply asked, “How?”
The answer was still unfathomable, but long before her son prayed, “Not my will, but yours” she declared, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
She allowed both her womb and her world to be overshadowed by the Most High. And just like that, all her little girl dreams of her ideal future vanished.
For the rest of her life, some might look at her as “that kind of girl.” She would spend years on the run, looking over her shoulder wondering if the stranger was a danger to her baby.
That’s the story she was asked to step into.
But her first response — when all she knew was that her agenda had been overruled — was worship. Her soul rejoiced. Obedience produced joy, and submission opened the door to a purpose far beyond her imagination. If we could talk to her now, we’d hear her say, “Jesus was worth it.”
The story of Christmas is a call to be overshadowed.
It rises up, stares us in the face, and interrogates our hearts:
“Will you believe, even when it seems impossible?”
“Will you rejoice, even when life looks nothing like you imagined?”
“Will you endure, even if the cost is high?”
Today, the questions for you to BEHOLD are these:
What plan, person, or dream are you holding in higher esteem than Jesus?
Where are you screaming Thy will be changed instead of Thy will be done?
How is your joy being compromised because of failure to submit?
Take your answers to the Lord in prayer and ask him to help you release your grip. After all, the call to discipleship is an invitation to lay down our dreams and pick up a cross. For the rest of our lives, we make course adjustments — and count it all joy.
Not because it is easy, but because Jesus is worth it.
“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a completion to those things which were told her by the Lord.
And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name’” (Luke 1:45-49).
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