Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Willing Compliance

At this time of year, there is much talk of the circumstances and persons surrounding the birth of Jesus. I will admit that I do not identify strongly with all characters in the story; I have never herded sheep, and I am not a Wise astrologer or historian who would follow the path of a star hoping to find a new king (though I confess that, in times past, I may have done a great deal to find a new president for our country!)

The one whom I do identify with is Mary, the mother of the baby Jesus. As a mother myself, I can know how she felt when the child moved in her womb; I can know her joy at seeing His first steps and hearing His first words. And I know well the swell of pride in seeing a son (or, in my case, sons, as I have two) grow to be a fine man. These things I can easily identify with. There are things in Mary's life, however, that I have not identified with. I have not, fortunately, had to share her sorrow at the loss of her beloved son.  And I can also not say that I am, as Mary seemed to be, an always willing and compliant person to God's every will in my life.

I frequently ask 'Why?' and demand 'How?' and even utter an occasional 'You've got to be kidding!' in  my conversation with God about His will for my own life. In contrast, when Mary realized the task God had set before her, she is recorded as saying:

             "My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
               for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant."  (Luke 1:47-48)

Willing compliance. I believe God looks for that in His servants, no matter how great or small His will is regarding their life tasks and situations. I would love to rejoice in every situation and task the Lord sets before me. I would love for my life to magnify my Lord. Mary did not have an exalted role put before her. Hers was the task of having a child the community probably saw as the result of her unholiness; hers was the task of going through painful labor in a barn; her task was to change diapers and clean up messes; hers was to raise the Son of God in a world of men; hers was the task of watching him die a horrible death. Mary had it much harder than I have it, without a doubt. But she was willing and compliant.

Can I not be more willing and compliant in the tasks and situations God sets before me and places me in? I need to remember God's servant, Mary. I need to be the kind of servant in my life that she was in the life God gave her. I need to be willingly compliaint.

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