By Carey Helmink
I love the phrase “heart of my own heart whatever befall” from the song Be Thou My Vision. I take that to mean that no matter what happens my heart desires the same things that God desires. I wish that were always true, but in reality my choices don’t always support that desire.
I was reading in the book of Luke last week and was struck again by the heart of Mary – Jesus’ mother. She was just a girl of maybe 13-14 years of age, in the presence of Gabriel, hearing the news that she was going to give birth to the Son of God, the Savior of the world. I’m sure she had more than one question at this moment, but she only asked one– “how in the world is that going to happen?”. Gabriel answers her and her response is staggering – “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”
In the most unbelievable of circumstances, Mary says a resounding YES to God and his will for her life. I do think she was a remarkable young woman. You can tell from the things that she says in her discussion with Elizabeth that she loves and honors the Lord, but I have to believe that when she said YES that first time, she couldn’t have known all that that would mean.
Mary’s resounding YES had to become a repeated YES as the drama of her life played out.
What would it have been like to be pregnant and unmarried, particularly in that culture?
What about that first conversation with Joseph, who was already legally bound to her?
Or how about giving birth to the Son of God in a barn?
Or running for your life . . . repeatedly?
Did Mary have to say YES again?
What would it have been like raising a perfect child? And dealing with his siblings? “How come JESUS never gets in trouble?”
How much pressure would she feel knowing God was living in her house, watching her every move and word?
Or what about the prophecy that Simon spoke to her:
“This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thought of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
Put yourself in Mary’s sandals. What would it have been like to say YES to that?
How many times in Mary’s life did she have to say again – “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true?”
The resounding YES of her early years had to be repeated over and over.
When she stood at the cross with John, watching Jesus die, did she still say YES in the midst of that horrific scene?
We see Mary in Acts 1:14 meeting with the disciples, some other women and Jesus’ brothers – who also believe in him at this point – and it seems logical that she was there when the Holy Spirit came – the Spirit of her Son (mind-blowing) and that she continued to be a part of the early church. All of this because she continued to say YES.
I don’t know what circumstances you find yourself in this morning. But YOU know. And I ask you, where in your life do you need to say YES to Jesus today?
Here’s the deal, some of you are in the midst of something you can’t change. You can say NO until you’re blue in the face, but when you come up for air, your circumstances will be the same.
OR you can say YES Jesus. Tell Him, “Whatever you want from me or for me, I will do my best to submit to that.” So hard. But in the end, it’s the only choice that changes anything. It might not change your circumstances, but it will begin to change you.
Take heart, girlfriends. Let your resounding YES become a repeated YES and in the words of Tim Keller:
“God is handling your life well
Your bad things will turn out for good
Your good things cannot be taken from you
And the best things are yet to come.”