Encouragement for Today - Dec. 4, 2006
Encouragement for Today
“Just an Ordinary Girl”
Melanie Chitwood, Proverbs 31 Ministries Author and Speaker
Luke , “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” (NAS)
One of the most incredibly faith-filled statements in the whole Bible is Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel when he tells her that she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit with God’s son, Jesus. While God’s plan has turned her world upside down, Mary’s response is one of complete submission: “’Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.’”
It’s easy for me to read stories of people in the Bible, such as Mary, and think, Well, of course she had faith! She’s Mary, the mother of Jesus!
God wants us to remember, however, that before she was Mary, the mother of Jesus, she was just Mary, an ordinary girl like you and me. I can just imagine her loving Joseph and being excited about her future marriage to him. I can see her discussing with her parents the many plans for her new life.
Each ordinary day brought to Mary many small opportunities to turn toward God in faith or away from God in doubt or selfishness. And each day Mary chose to say yes to the small things God placed before her. Yes, God I’ll serve my family as I clean and cook. Yes, God, I’ll be your hands and heart right here in my family and community.
And then – an angel appears. And suddenly this ordinary girl on this ordinary day comes face to face with her extraordinary God. Gabriel reminds her, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke ). Despite being afraid and puzzled, this proclamation seems to be all the assurance Mary needs.
I believe one of the reasons God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus is that He had seen each time Mary had said yes in the small moments of her life. These everyday steps of faith had been her training ground, and He knew that she was ready to say yes to the extraordinary plan he set before her. God knew that throughout her life, Mary would say, Nothing will be impossible with God.
As we say yes to the daily, ordinary moments of our lives, let us be reminded that we are saying yes to our extraordinary God. May He find us faithful, just as Mary was faithful.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I am thankful that faith is a gift from You, not something I have to strive for. I want to surrender my plans, especially during this Christmas season, to embrace Your plans. I want to be like Mary, faithful in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of my life. Give me your power to walk in faith, not by sight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
What Happens When Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst
Celebrating Christ at Christmas, ETC Corner
When You’re Running on Empty by Cindi McMenamin
Faith is a gift from God, so we can ask in prayer for faith and be confident He wants to answer this prayer! Another way our faith increases is by hearing the word of God (Romans ). Be sure to spend time reading and reflecting on God’s word each day. Finally, increase your faith by stepping out in places where you have to trust Him to provide for you.
What ordinary choices are before you right now which can be offered to God as service and worship to Him? Remember the little steps of faith prepare us for the big leaps of faith.
Has God been asking you to let go of something for Him, to surrender as you trust Him? Maybe he wants you to let go of a grudge, let go of a fear, let go of self-reliance. Ask God to show you ways to walk in faith.
Does God want you to step out in faith, even though you can’t see the outcome? Does He want you to try something new?
Romans 5:17, “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (NAS)
Ephesians 2: 8, 9, “For by grace you have been saved by faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (NAS)