Be Still Know
Luke 1:38 NLT
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
Yielding to God presents some clear obstacles. As individuals we discover from an early age that we are expected to take decisions for ourselves. Like most children I trusted the decisions of my parents but at the age of 7 I encountered opposition. My dad wanted me to move to a minor public school. This meant leaving all my friends at primary school, friends I felt really close to. I forcefully, well, as forcefully as a 7-year-old can, argued my case, never thinking I wouldn’t be heard and accommodated. To my horror, my case fell on deaf ears and I moved school. I made a note that it was important to plan how to get my own way in future.
Such a simple example reveals how self-will is forged. For some it is simply the product of survival where life begins in horrendous circumstances. The alternative to assertiveness is non-assertiveness. Here compliance comes easily and we all too readily surrender to the opinions and purposes of others. So how might we approach God, who has redeemed us from slavery to freedom, yet invites us to yield to his authority in return? Having submitted to my dad’s authority over schooling, authority became something I carried great suspicion towards, and still do.
Here Mary, in a surreal moment, asks reasonable questions and then takes the lead in asserting her decision to yield to God. Perhaps here the reality of humility is best revealed. Her questions have been answered in a mysterious way, yet she takes responsibility in saying “Yes” to God. The consequences of that yes are unknowable, yet the essential element is her yes. So it is with God that the important response is yes even when the consequences are unknowable and may appear unpalatable. God’s concern is to restate in and through my life the overwhelming victory over the power of sin that works its way throughout all of life, causing pain and destruction. My response, my yes, enables my life to become consumed with the purpose of God in this world, even when the realities of my experience remain wrapped in mystery.
QUESTION: How do you respond to authority?
PRAYER: I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.