Several times in Scripture, God tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus, took the experiences and words of others and “pondered” them in her heart.
As I come to the end of this advent season, I realize that I too have been pondering in my mind and heart, perhaps some of the same things Mary once did: the praise of the shepherds and the gifts of the wise men.
The arrival of Jesus changed everything for Mary. One morning she woke up to the normal rhythms of life and family routines, but by nightfall her world was spinning.
As I ponder the announcement – the travel to visit Elizabeth, the months of physical growth and change in Mary’s body, the care of Joseph for his family, and the journey to Bethlehem and then Egypt – I realize Jesus changed every plan and every immediate dream this young couple shared together.
In one moment, Jesus changed everything.
What is amazing is that Mary and Joseph submitted immediately to those changes and God’s plan. In fact Mary’s response to the announcement says it all: “Let it be to me as You say.”
Let it be to me as You say. At the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, can we say with Mary and Joseph those same words? As you ponder the past year, and anticipate the future, do you wonder what plan He has for you that would very likely change your own plans?
When Jesus enters in, nothing stays the same. For Mary, I imagine the world no longer looked the same. The smells, the views, the noises were now transformed by the life of Jesus within her. Her every thought was no longer for herself alone, but for the child growing inside. Her days were likely filled with unanswered questions, and many uncertainties, and still she said “yes”.
Elisabeth, while pregnant with her son John, the future prophet of Israel, called Mary “blessed” for believing: “Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” (See Luke 1)
Would, or could, our friends say the same thing of us? Do I choose to believe the impossible? Do I submit to the plan of God for my life though unseen and uncertain?
As I ponder these things, I would like to think I have said “yes” to His plan – maybe not always perfectly – for my life. My own journey over the past 10 years specifically, with David and the kids, and now with our business More Than Enough Financial Fitness, has been filled with very intentional “yeses”.
And as Mary experienced that day when she said “yes”, so have I experienced: everything I had planned and dreamed changed when I said “yes”.
The story of our personal journey is for another time, but let me say this: our destination changed, our priorities changed, our financial “security” changed, our focus in daily activity changed, our vocation changed, our love for God and each other changed, and our inner spiritual life changed.
And change continues.
The birth of Jesus did not change the lives of Mary and Joseph only for a moment. There was ongoing learning and change as they submitted to parenting the Lord of the universe!
For you and me, the journey with God promises the same: we will never be stagnate, or comfortable, or found in the same place, if He has anything to say about it.
There are joys and sorrows, uncertainties and miracles, meanderings and wanderings, loss and love found. It is a humbling journey as we come to this path of learning, love, growth and submission. A journey of intimacy begins the moment we say “yes”. It is a path of forgiveness, transparency, gained trust, immense love and acceptance, and a yielded heart that discovers God’s presence.
So at the end of this advent season, ponder this: what announcement is God waiting to give you on your journey of life where Jesus enters in and changes everything?
I promise you that you may not always like His plan but you will learn it is a good plan, and you will never be the same. You will likely find that this submitted path is the path of true love and acceptance.
So say “yes” as Mary did, and believe. Invite Jesus to change everything. That is what He came for and that “yes” is what we were born for.
Rebecca van Noppen is Communications Director at More Than Enough. She is also a teacher, home educator, writer, and woman who loves to pray. She works alongside her husband, Financial Coach David van Noppen, to help others find hope and freedom in Christ on their financial journeys.
Photo Credits to Andrea Gaw-Precob and Imagine that Expression Photography. Please check out more of her photography on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/imaginethatexpression/?hc_ref=ARQ1ptoBBKuLTzwYl8JEF0zKK9fuswuf13H2LYuu6GKGiFoIOTb-oiHkXnyljHYliWw&pnref=story.