For about the past year, I've been hearing God tell me to spend more time and energy on this blog and my writing and speaking. But, you know what? I've been comfortable and busy with paying freelance work. I tossed a few things off my plate with the intent of writing more. I've picked up a few speaking engagements at local churches. I even asked God to clear my plate a bit, but I was pretty happy with my life.
Well, in the past month one of my major freelance clients hasn't had much work. It's been frustrating and a little concerning. I've been hunting for new clients, but so far not much has turned up. I know God has a plan, but I really liked my life the way it was. On the plus side, I've been able to put more time into the Everyday Truth blog, I've published Everyday Christmas and I'm working on a new website and some exciting plans for next year. They're all great things, but I can't measure them monetarily.
In studying Mary for this week's blogs, I find I wish I had her spirit. Here's a young girl, probably 15 or so, who is just going about her business one day when an angel shows up. He doesn't just want to tell Mary she's doing a great job. He wants to tell her she's about to become the mother of God's Son. Mary's engaged to Joseph, and she has to know that he's not going to take the news that she's pregnant very well. This was actually a crime punishable by stoning.
Now, I don't know about you, but I probably would have been having a major freak-out session. I would have been scared and worried. I mean, how was she going to tell her parents? No one else saw the angel. But not Mary. She doesn't even ask the angel very many questions. She simply says "I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).
That's some pretty calm acceptance from someone whose life has just been radically changed. Mary didn't appear worried about the future. She accepted God's will and the blessings that came with it.
Change inevitably comes to our lives. Our children get older and we go from diapers and rattles to soccer balls and hockey sticks to dating and choosing a college. Our professional careers change as well. We may find ourselves jobless for a time or changing direction in our careers. And sometimes we fight that change with all we have. We don't trust God. We get mad because He's taken our comfort zone away.
Yet God has a plan. He has great things for you and me and our kids to do. When we spend our energy fighting His plan, we make it difficult for Him to work through us. It takes us twice as long to get where God wants us to go.
Mary's life probably ended up looking a lot different than what she had planned. Yet, more than 2,000 years later, she is remembered by the world. Her quiet acceptance of God's will earned her a precious place in God's plan.
When God wants to change things up in your life or in your kids' lives, remember that He has a plan. His plan is so much better than what we can do our own. We can reach more people and be more effective when we follow His plan than when we try to walk our own path.
A little of Mary's quiet acceptance goes a long way toward putting us on the path to the amazing things God has in store for us. What is God asking you or your kids to accept today?