Prayer, Creativity & Faith

Hearts that are willing

I’ve been pondering that whole scene in the Bible where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary. How did she feel? How much say did she really have in the whole thing? How much did she understand about what it would mean—for her and for the world? I think she was probably strong and courageous. Not a doormat, not meek and mild, but confident enough to follow what she knows in her heart to be true. She recognized the Divine when she saw it and she was all in, whatever that would entail.

Because haven’t you ever felt that kind of divine assurance, where you just know that you know that you know that it’s God, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else?

Over the past year, I’ve made some tough decisions that resulted in stepping away from a church I’ve loved for more than 20 years. It involved inadvertently hurting two dear friends who I love so very much, trusting my husband to accept my decision even as he chose to stay at that church. It means trying to find a new way to experience community, something my old church does so well, and expressing my worship in different ways. But it also involves resisting the easy path, and trusting in my spirit. More than that, it means trusting that when God births something new in you, the end result—whatever that might be—will add up to something greater than the sum of all the losses along the way.

So I find myself feeling a kinship to Mary that I’ve never felt before. It’s not easy going against the expected, doing things in a way that others won’t understand. When I say this, I’m not for a second elevating myself to some holy place. And I’m not making any great claims about where God is leading me or what that will look like. I’m only saying that the rewards and discoveries along the way are sweet beyond all measure, and that God remains true. His purposes remain good. His character remains steadfast. His love continues to be unmeasurable and yet also undeniable.

As we go through this Christmas season, can I ask you to do something? Would you pray and ask God what it is that He wants to birth in you?

Maybe now is not the time for something new. Perhaps God won’t reveal a thing.

But perhaps He will.

Perhaps He’s waiting for you to be willing to do the hard—but right—thing.

But whether you “hear” from Him right now or not, one thing I believe to be true is this: God speaks to hearts that are humble. Hearts that aren’t convinced they know everything, that they have all the answers. Hearts who are willing to trust in the mystery of the unknown.

Hearts that say, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38, ESV

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