If you say so, Lord!

Luke 1: 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” I can’t imagine the things that were going through Mary’s head as the angel Gabriel appeared to her. First of all…AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HER!  But then to find out she was going to be pregnant and not by the man she was betrothed to. Whoa!

I found it interesting that she was more troubled that he called her “favored one” then that she was going to have a child. I mean she did ask the obvious question, “How can this be since I’m a virgin. But  she was GREATLY troubled at the greeting.

Crazy enough I get it! If anyone came along let alone and angel and said I was God’s favored one, I’d be thinking, “Ok what do you want?” I have had people tell me that in the past that I was highly favored and I became highly suspicious of their motives. It’s not that I don’t believe that I am God’s favorite. Yes I am! Misty Edwards sang a song about that very thing. Some of the lyrics are:

Jesus,
Here I am your favorite one
What are You thinking, what are You feeling?
I have to know
(Repeat x 2)

It’s different to know I am His favorite when He tells me but when someone else tells me, I just want to ask them, “How do you know?” When someone else tells me all of a sudden I know I am faced with some big…huge……GIGANTIC responsibility coming my way and THAT terrifies me.

Now the angel tells her what that responsibility is going to be. She must have thought, “Joseph is never going to believe this. What if he divorces me or has me stoned for adultery cause he knows it isn’t his?” I can only imagine that things that would have gone on in my head. But when the angel answers her she just says, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

She trusted God so much that she was willing to go through anything for Him no matter what the consequences would be for her . Especially what people would say about her or how they would treat her.

I remember many years ago in another city, long before Greg and I became pastors, being in a situation where I had to deal with what people said and the way they treated me because of something that happened, that I felt God lead me to do at a retreat, I had put together. I was beaten up mentally by one of my best friends because I didn’t do things the way we planned. But in my defense our biggest plan was to allow the Holy Spirit to move even if it meant changing our plans. And that’s what happened! Unfortunately it involved not doing what she had planned. She raked me over the coals in front of everyone. Fortunately one of my former pastors was there and just the night before she had told me that an ancient nation was going to rise against me. I just didn’t think it would be one my best friends. She gave me an incredible book to read by Francis Frangipane The Three Battlegrounds. This book helped me so much and there were two quotes that I held on to for dear life.

“Satan will not continue to assault you when the circimstances he designed to destroy you are now perfecting you.” and “Peace is the best weapon against adversity.”  I remember laying in bed and telling the Lord, I was done. I was done with woman’s ministries. I was done with the women in the church and I was done with Him. He gently listened and then very quietly said, “Ok, where will you go?” I started crying even harder and said, “Lord, there is no place for me to go without YOU.” I told him that I was His student (servant) and that whatever I needed to learn from this, I was willing to learn.

The Lord told me not to defend myself to others or even talk about what happened because it would be gossip. I would be making myself look like a victim instead of a victor and those who were attacking me would be made to look like victimizers. He told me to trust him and He would be my defender. He also revealed a huge error I had made on my part that started long before the planning of the retreat that actually caused a domino effect and even though what happened to me at and after that retreat was wrong, I still had to take responsibility for it……and I did…..but that’s another story.

Carrying that by myself with no one to talk to was very hard. My pastor’s wife knew a little of what was going on at the time not from me but offered to to be a mediator. It never came to that as God opened many doors of conversation that actually ended up with Him restoring me completely and when I left that church, I left on a great note. I trusted Him and He did not let me down. I wanted to be an obedient servant no matter what.

I’ve been through so many more situations where God has told me what He was going to do and it was going to be hard. But I have come out of each one a little stronger and little wiser with plenty of more room to grow. So now I try very hard when He is about to birth something in and through me to say, ” If you say so, Lord!”

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