I often think about how much of a train wreck so many of our lives have been but God chose us anyways.
Do you ever wonder how you did not lose your mind? But God.
Do you ever think about the edge of despair that missed you? But God.
Did you ever think that the traffic delay and the fact that you were late to your appointment spared your life? But God.
Have you ever thought about the fact you wake up with breath in your body? But God.
Ever thought about how you were able to pay your bills and feed your family through a crisis? But God.
Have you ever thought not a tear dropped onto your cheek that God’s hand of mercy did not capture.
Ever tried to perform your way to earn God’s approval but He squashed it because He’s not looking for that, only looking for you? But God.
When God tore the veil between heaven and earth by sending Jesus, he was dressed in an earth-suit to become one of us. Why? So He might save all of us. Then the devil trembled.
When you think about Joseph and Mary, teenagers who were being challenged with raising God. It normalizes and mesmerizes us at the same time.
The audacity of how God chooses regular people to carry out his plan on earth. God placed crazy trust in the hands of teens.
They even lost Jesus at one point in their parenting journey.
We scratch our head, wondering how in the world God can trust people and put them in charge of the King of Kings. They were as normal as us and lost Jesus.
Don’t we do the same thing? We lose God. We get down the road in life and realize we forgot God. Misplaced him in our lives.
We think He is in the car with us, but we lose him in the shuffle of life and stuff.
God has always used the nominal, average, flawed, nothing special about his chosen vessels. He just wants to display his glory and power through their obedient open life.
Mary and Joseph came to an inn, but the inn didn’t have room, so He was born in a dusty, dirty manger.
A Slanderous Thing
A child was the King. Carried in the womb of a girl gossiped about. Slithering tongues slandered her swollen belly. They didn’t know she was carrying Jesus. But God did.
Chosen, not out of a popular vote, but out of the kinds of things that make you take note and pay attention. Pure hearted Mary. Innocent, but spoken and whispered about as evil. Mary was available. Able to believe the unbelievable.
Think about that word avail-able.
The word avail means to help or benefit.
Able means- capable of, fit for, tending to.
Applying this to Mary’s life would sound like this.
“Mary, because you are available, and the first priority you established is your belief in me and trust in me.”
Because of this trust, God is going to help and equip Mary to do what she is able to do as she rests in the word given to her. Leaning on God is the only way she can make it through.
She would have trials with this pregnancy and she would have to lean hard on God’s able-ness and ability. Not her own.
She would learn to lean into The word spoken to her heart, no matter what she saw or experienced throughout her pregnancy. This would also prepare her for Jesus’ life growing up.
Mary’s life was open to the ultimate life that would touch the world. It would take willingness and diligence to keep her heart in check with continual changes in circumstances.
Obedience to resist the temptation to be identified by the sting of what others were whispering about her behind closed doors.
Gossip and Speculation
I am sure the gossip about Mary and Joseph circulated in their community just like it does in our modern day. But God was doing something and it would require trust that was costly.
Costing friendships, being misunderstood, being accused, yet they were innocent. Hiding from the crowds while being captivated by an audience of one.
Hot tears rolled down her flushed cheeks as the tears were settling in. Tears sliding all the way into her soul.
Her tears would tell a story. The greatest story ever told. Ever lived. She only needed to be the canvas.
As she thought, she rubbed her belly thinking about how great the life of this child would be.
Her love was so strong for this child and yet, she felt so weak. Weakened by what she felt but not wavering because of what she had been told.
Glory and Adaptation
The one she now carried would soon be carrying her.
Isn’t this what happens to us? God moves into that sacred space of our spiritual womb. The Holy Spirit begins moving things around.
Redesigning if you will. He says, wait as He processes his plan in you. You’re gonna love it, He says, but as God prepares our hearts painful trials are part of it. Processing what He is doing can bring misunderstanding when pain is part of the process.
The wider the reach of God in a person’s life, the deeper the roots must be.
It requires patience and faith to inherit the promises. Timing matters as well as God bringing people together.
Not Always Understanding
“You won’t understand what I am doing now but later on you will.”
He said that to Peter while He was restoring and reinstating Peter back into the ministry.
He goes way ahead in the spirit and our flesh has to be reigned in and mastered to settle down and catch up with the spirit by resting in him and waiting.
Sometimes, we get perplexed in the process of God rearranging things in our lives. The direction He takes us in leaves us confused about His plan. We become alarmed because everything looks different. Nothing like we expected.
We often sense The Spirit internally, but we see the difference in location or vocation and the change about all of it freaks us out. It challenges our flesh to be crucified and get off the throne.
Fear and Fight
Do you know what we do? We start flinching and flailing. Fearing and fighting the one who is helping us, not hindering us.
Change is so catastrophic to the control freak within us that we break. Our fragile ego can’t handle not being in charge. Maybe some residue from old wounds raises its head in protest.
But God, He is large and in charge.
He said, Let’s go the minute you said yes to him. But then it got hard and you said, Slow down because fear set in with so many changes.
A hurry up mindset comes from the natural way of thinking. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.
Wilderness years get hard.They expose us and humble us.
Jesus prepared for 30 years for a 3 year long ministry. The preparation years seem dry and lonely.
Mary’s pregnancy seemed long and lonely. She went past her due date and I’m sure she tried every trick available to induce labor. I sure did in my pregnancies.
Too Tired to Wait
The same thing we do spiritually when we are tired of waiting for anything.
We turn tricks, design concoctions, get bright ideas or a plan to hurry this thing up.
Maybe Mary was driving over speed bumps, on a horse, of course. That didn’t work. She thought speed walking will do it! Thin that cervix out and get to dilating. That didn’t work either.
Ingest pounds of spicy fish, no baby still. Even the good ole fall back, Castor oil wouldn’t budge a baby whose time wasn’t yet.
Multiple times of throwing her head back with a shot of the oil and still. no baby.
Miserable trips to the bathroom seemed to confirm the crap she was dealing with on every level.
The road was appearing to seem longer and longer. Dusty too. She appeared to be all alone without support or even a place to rest.
As her womb got smaller and smaller and the baby grew bigger and bigger, it got unbearable in her body. On top of the pregnancy no one had room to fit them in their life. Friends were nowhere to be found.
The inn was full when they arrived but it felt rejecting as if she was the unchosen one again. As she grew closer to the time of birth like most pregnant women, her emotions needed to be reigned in.
Easy to Misinterpret
Mary could have easily misunderstood what God was doing. She could have interpreted all of it as being rejected.
The temptation to personalize her experience and get hurt with God and Joseph was hauntingly real.
Misinterpreting where God was leading them, she projected it often onto Joseph as she struggled her way through.
She didn’t see beauty in her body because she was overdue and exhausted. Joseph would try to comfort her but He was at a loss and it seemed there was no right answer He could give her.
Mary resisted irritability because she trusted the voice, the love for the one she carried within her belly and the one who whispered the promises.
She knew this down to her core. She laid her head on Joseph reminding herself of the promise over and over. The tears rolling onto his chest couldn’t be contained.
She didn’t know what would help, or if anything could be said to comfort her. She gave this whole being pregnant with Jesus thing back to God because He had authored it.
Although she felt stuck in the middle she knew He would complete the word in her womb.
It was too much for her in the natural to reason through or add another weight emotionally to the wait she already experienced physically.
Growing Up Spiritually
This is what we experience as God grows us up spiritually. He takes us from glory to glory as scripture says. From change to change.
As we grow up, spiritual maturity begins to happen. As fruit is being developed many obstacles, trials and tests are faced internally and externally.
Every level of growth seems to bring out another devil. Mary had to learn whose she was. She had to learn where she had come from and where she was going.
She had to learn it wasn’t in her ability or effort but God’s grace working in and through her.
She had to ignore the opinions of others and stop needing their approval. She had to learn to wait well.
Waiting While Resting
Waiting while resting in God’s love and promise to her was a skill she had to develop.
What is God asking you to wait well with?
Can you see God digging deep because He is wanting to use you in a wider dimension now?
Mary could have easily interpreted waiting as wandering off the path when there was no room at the inn.
Have you ever felt like you couldn’t find your way because doors were closing?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Leave a comment below.
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