January 11, 2021
And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that always having sufficiency in everything you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Cor. 9:8
I have a favorite Bible and over the years it has fallen apart. Sections aren’t necessarily where they are supposed to be. Peter has fallen completely out and I have stuffed it sort of in the middle. There are pages with dates and messages written beside verses. Others are underlined with bright marker. Some of the pages have crinkled as they have been cried over too many times. This Bible has been through a lot with me.
A few years ago, a dear friend who was going through some rough times with her son, sat down with me and shared her heart break and we prayed for him. In my quiet time that night, I felt that the Lord was telling me to give her my Bible,
“But Lord, I need it! It’s mine!” I cried. “And you are mine,” He reminded me. “I am sufficient.”
So I went over to her house the next day and said, “The Lord has laid it on my heart to give you this Bible. It has been through some tough times as you can see. I’m hoping that this will bring you comfort.” And it did.
A year ago she moved far away and I was sad knowing our everyday friendship was going too. One of the last things she did before they left was to return my Bible. “I thought you may need this back,” she said.
The pages were still misplaced and falling apart. And there are more crinkly pages added because her tears had been added to mine over the years. That night I spent time remembering, crying, seeking comfort from my Father. A piece of paper fell out. It was in my handwriting dated 2006. It was a quote from someone and this is what it said:
“God is working to bring us to a place where we collapse under the weight of our insufficiency and fall into the arms of the Father. He doesn’t want us working on our strength – instead He desires that we operate solely under His power. Spiritual dependency with the power of God’s Holy Spirit within us so we can be energized, filled with wisdom and power to accomplish God’s will for our lives.”
Father, I am yours and you are sufficient. I’m so grateful for your love and protection. For your patience with me. I still have so much to learn. I love you,
December 28, 2020
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:35-38, ESV)
In this passage, the joyous news is that the virgin Mary will give birth to Jesus who is conceived in a divinely bestowed manner. According to the angel Gabriel, the Holy Spirit will come upon her. Mary’s response is amazing because of her humble posture of acceptance of the Lord’s will for her life.
Many commentators compare the difference between Zechariah’s and Mary’s responses to Gabriel’s news. Gabriel declares all these wonderful prophecies about John. He’s going to be great in the sight of the Lord; he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth; and he will have the same spirit and power of Elijah! He gets to prepare the way for the Lord! And what does Zechariah want? He wants greater proof! As a priest, he should have remembered the story of Abraham and Sarah. He is silenced for unbelief until the birth of John.
For Mary, this is an undeniably new occurrence in history. She will give birth to the Son of God; he will be given the throne of his father David; and his kingdom will never end! Mary does request greater understanding: how will this be for I am a virgin? The angel of the Lord seems to respect her perplexity. Ultimately, Gabriel tells her nothing is impossible with God!
Father, may we come before you as Mary did in humble acceptance of your will for our lives. Lord Jesus, forgive us when we often doubt like Zechariah. Holy Spirit, may we remember that nothing is impossible for you. Amen.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Your sister in Christ,