Friday, December 11, 2009

Willing Surrender

Pregnancy. The anticipation of motherhood. In our culture, pregnancy outside of marriage doesn't carry the same impact it did centuries ago. Travel back in time to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, where a young lady named Mary was preparing for her marriage to Joseph.

Mary had been taught the importance of purity. The law which had been given to Moses by God was clear, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). The consequences were severe: death by stoning. She had willingly remained a virgin.

How startled she was when the visitor arrived! Like no other visitor her parents had entertained, this visitor was none other than Gabriel, the angel of God. In her astonishment, she heard him speak, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28, KJV). She was frightened. She didn't understand. She was highly favoured? She was blessed? Before she could formulate a single word, the angel continued, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:30b-33).

Unbelievable! She had been chosen to be the very mother of the Messiah! It still didn't make sense to her. She wasn't yet married to Joseph. She verbalized the question that had been troubling her, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 2:34b). The angel's reply shared God's brilliant plan, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:35-37).

She was a young lady engaged to be married. Her plans were turned upside down. How would Joseph respond to the news that she was expecting? Would he believe that an angel had appeared to her? Would he believe that she was of child by the Holy Ghost?

Instead of selfishly holding on tightly to her plans, Mary sacrificed them to the Lord. Her response stands out as one of willing surrender to the will of God: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1: 38a).

No indication is given that Mary bemoaned her circumstances. She had every reason to be terrified of being stoned. If Joseph didn't believe her, she would face a death sentence. Surely she would be ostracized and looked down upon. Everyone knew she wasn't married yet. Imagine the scornful glances cast Mary's way as she went about her daily chores. The rumors that circulated about her.

Oh, to adopt Mary's spirit! A spirit of unreserved surrender to the will of our Master. Even when it involves hardship and ridicule. Even when the rumors are flying. Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on God's amazing love for us. After all, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

God gave us the ultimate 'gift' of His Son that very first Christmas. Living for Him is a small 'gift' we can give in return. Will you surrender to His plans for you?


  1. Hey, Maria!

    Surrender is such a hard thing to life from but it's how to live a life of Faith. God's been teaching me a lot about that for the past few years, so it's a life lesson close to my heart! Thank you!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I believe God knew how she would respond, and that is why she had such favor with Him. He also knows how we would respond, before the events even unroll before us.

    I hope and pray to someday hear those words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

  3. I am a work in progress in this area, that's for sure. But I am glad for the things He teaches me along the way. Blessings!

  4. Kristen - You're right, living a life of faith is all about surrender! I'd love to hear more about your missionary journeys. I'm sure you know much about surrendering your will to Him! God bless!

    Lily - Welcome! Thank you so much for visiting! I'm certain God DID choose Mary because He already knew how she would respond! Continue to follow Him one step at a time, & He will reward you with the precious words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Blessings to you!

  5. Karen - Thanks for being so faithful to share! Isn't it amazing what we can learn and how we can grow when we have a teachable spirit?! God bless you as you learn from the Master! :)

  6. Some have trouble with that word 'surrender', including myself. But from life experiences and the consequences of not surrendering, I've learned to say, "Lord, I give up... I surrender... I'm tired of doing it my way... your will be done!" The minute I've said it, I find my shoulders lighter and His peace unfolding over me. Wonderful post Maria! Enjoy your weekend! xo

  7. Ellie - Thanks so much for sharing! When we surrender to His will, He gives us the strength to accomplish what He's asked us to do. Ultimately, we find such joy in the task He's set before us! God bless you!

  8. Thanks for visiting/following Bible Fountain.

    Great application of Mary's humble spirit to our lives today. "be it unto me according to thy word." That statement/prayer is as vital for our spiritual walk as it was for Mary's. Good post.

  9. Warren - You are absolutely right! At times it's easy to say, but quite a bit harder to follow through on!! Probably why we're told to "take up our cross" daily and not weekly or monthly!

    Thank you for 'following' my blog. I look forward to keeping up with yours as well!
    God bless!

  10. Hi Maria, what a beautiful mediation. To surrender to God so completely is my desire too. Thanks for shinning a light on this aspect of the Christmas message.
    I hope you and the family are well.

  11. Dorothy - So good to hear from you! God bless you and your family as you focus on Him this Christmas season! Praying for His blessings on your life today! :)