We made it to the new year! Let us rejoice! Though we went through painful lows, neutral passing moments, and joyful highs (no matter how small), we made it to the next checkpoint in our journey. With
that, we will meditate on the scripture Luke 1:45-47:
Luke 1:45-47(NKJV)- Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord….”
For a little bit of context, starting from Luke 1:26, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her the news of her conceiving a little baby boy named who was to be called Jesus. Gabriel also happened to mention to Mary in this announcement that he would be the Son of God and eternal reign over His people (Luke 1:32-33, NKJV). Understandably, Mary’s initial reaction was a bit doubtful to the news. I can imagine myself in her sandals looking back at him like he was a mad man. Especially since Mary was still a virgin at the time and has yet to be married to her fiancé, Joseph. Only considering our human understanding, this could not be possible.
As we navigate our journey and relationship with Christ, I’m sure we have found ourselves in a conversation with God regarding his promises for us similarly to Mary’s: this could not be possible. In this life, we have faced disappointments great and small. Each one wears down at our hope. A rock on the beach will be tousled and worn down by the coming and going by the tide growing smaller and smaller. Eventually, the rock that was once heavy, large, unique in shape will be nothing but granules of sand.
Though it is a long process and happens over the course of our lives, the tossing and tumbling takes a little bit of our hope and belief with it until we are left with hopelessness, despair, and broken trust. The disappointment and pain takes could have begun with your parent not buying us the toy you saw on the shelf as a child to a relationship you believed was your blessing that turned sour and began to feel like your torment. Whether the event was big or small, it takes just a tiny bit away from you until you’re not left with much at all.
So, when we are reading our Word, being still and listening for God and his intentions for us and listening to encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Christ, our first reaction is to doubt. I’m not sure about you, but I have listened to the nagging voices in my head repeating the following over and over:
“You think deliverance is for you? Ha, what about all of those other times that you messed up when you tried to come out?”
“God blesses others, but he does not have blessings for you.”
“You aren’t strong enough to change.”
“People have let you down so many times, why do you think you’re worthy of something different now?”
So, going back to our focus scripture above, when I think about it, it gives me a feeling of defiance. Giving in to negative self-talk and other demonic-inspired ideologies is easy. If our situation does not line up with God’s promises or His will right then and there, then it easily becomes “evidence” to the way that we are thinking. Relying on faith, that takes a bit more challenge. Telling God “Hey, you have promised me time and time again that you’ve got my back, so if you say this is so, then it is so” truly brings a radical element to your walk and relationship with God. Taking the risk and outstretching your hand to his—simply brushing your fingertips on his at first—gives so much more freedom and peace than attempting to protect yourself from let down behind the doubt and impossibilities.
Mary herself in that moment could have easily refuted what the angel Gabriel had reported to her and turned him away out of her doubt and unbelief of the impossible immediately. After hearing his message of Jesus’ identity, he response was this:
Luke 1:38 (NIV)- “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
In that moment, she quashed her doubt and took a chance on her faith in God, knowing that His plans were for our good and not our harm (Jeremiah 29:11) with courage believing not only that God is who He says he is and that his word is truth, but that it would come to pass. We logically know that God’s word and promise will never pass away, but to really believe that it will come to pass in our own personal lives is a harder belief. God is God and not your mother, your father, your siblings, people who you considered friends, or a past partner. He recognizes that we have been hurt before and is hurt by that pain. But, beginning in 2022, he is wanting to heal that doubt. He wants to transform our belief on what is possible. God wants to begin the process of dismantling our distorted outlook that He is like the rest of the people who have forsaken us.
I find comfort in discovering this idea of simply believing in God’s Will, whatever it may be and wherever it may take me. We weren’t told to jump through hoops of fire, to dance on our heads, to spend hundreds of dollars for God’s promise and the peace that comes with it. We simply need to believe and have faith. Luckily for us, we only need faith the size of a mustard seed to start. He has given us the gift to allow us to sit down while he takes care of the cultivation and growth of our newly sewn hope. Forget resolutions. Let’s set our focus on this message of hope and faith. Wear your belief in God’s word as your garment not only for 2022, but forever. We are human and there is no getting around slipping up, making mistakes, and not always believing when we should. I encourage you to accept that part of the journey, too. Even in those moments, God still loves and accepts us. If we choose to do the same, we’ll dust ourselves off and grab hold of our Savior’s hand again knowing his word is true. God bless you all and your entering of 2022.