When you think about Christmastime, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Sleigh bells? Christmas trees? Mistletoe? Pumpkin pie?
Or maybe if you’re a Christian, you think of baby Jesus, the wise men, shepherds, angels, or even the innkeeper.
Now, all of that is great, don’t misunderstand me, but when I think of Christmas, there are two things that are most obvious to me. One is God’s love for mankind. The other is Mary.
Let’s think some about Mary. She was a virgin; an unmarried, God-fearing woman. The angel Gabriel appeared to her one night, woke her up, and said to her, “You’re going to have a baby. But not just any baby—the Son of the Most High.”
What was Mary’s reaction? Did she put her hands on her hips, fix Gabriel with an angry glare and say, “A baby? Are you kidding me? It’ll ruin my reputation, not to mention my figure! I’m an unmarried woman! Why would God do this to me?”
No. Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be unto me as you have said (Luke 1:38).” No thoughts about her reputation. No complaints. No hesitation. She was completely submitted to the will of God.
I’ve often wondered what would have happened if Mary had said, “Go away, angel. I’m trying to sleep.” Or if she had said, “I don’t want to have a baby.” I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t think God would have forced Mary to have Jesus. He gave us a free will. No, God would have found another woman eager to do His will, and Mary would have been left out of the picture.
God chose Mary, and she acknowledged that. She saw His will for her life and she surrendered her future, her dreams, her very being to His will.
So, what do you think so far? Do you think God was pleased with Mary's submission? Of course He was. And do you know what? God wants our submission as well.
One of the most important things I’ve learned since coming to Pinecrest is that if I want God to change me, I have to surrender to His will. We have to give up control of our lives. We have to hand God the reins, because God has a plan and a will for our lives, and in order for it to be carried out, He needs our submission and cooperation.
So, you may ask yourself, how can I be like Mary? How can I submit to God? It’s simple. God cares for you, and He has a plan for your life. The sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be. Ask God what His will is for your life and when He tells you, give it to Him. Let Him do it His way.
This Christmas when you’re sitting on the couch, full of pie, surrounded by friends and family, remember the real reason for Christmas. Remember the Baby in the manger. Remember who died on the cross for you. And may we all strive to follow the example of Mary, who through her submission to God was part of the greatest story ever told.
- Honnah Wiederhold