Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 7: Luke 2:7

and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. -Luke 2:7

When the angel first came to Mary to tell her she was pregnant with the child, he said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33)

After the initial shock that she, a virgin, was about to have a baby, I'm sure there was at least a little excitement in Mary's heart at the prospect of getting to be the mother of the "Son of the Most High" and that her son will be given the throne of David by God Himself.  That sounds like that would involve some sort of royal appointment and since royal appointments often come with power and wealth, I'm sure Mary pictured that in her mind, living the life of wealth and prestige.

I'm sure, while giving birth in an animal stable, having to wrap her newborn in scraps of leftover cloth and having to lay him in a food trough to sleep, Mary thought back to what the angel had told her and at least once thought, "What the heck?  Did I understand this wrong?  Was that even an angel or did I imagine it?"  Even if she had the greatest faith in the Lord and His goodness, I'm sure in the throws of contractions, she thought, "God, really?  This is how you want the future King to be born?  In a stable like a donkey?"

From time to time we all have WTF??? moments with God:

-"God, we've been doing so well budgeting our money and getting out of debt.  Why the freak did you let our car break down, put my child in the hospital and have the roof start leaking all at the same time???  There is no way we can pay for this."  

-"God, I felt like you told me to take this job even though it wasn't the one I really wanted.  Now my reward for following you is a boss that treats me awful, getting my hours cut back and tons of added responsibilities.  What the freak are you doing???"

-"God, I feel like I've done my best to raise my children to know you and to be strong Christians.  Now my kids leave the house and they are sleeping around, getting in trouble with the law and act like the last thing they need is you.  What the freak???"

-"God, I prayed that you would heal this person.  I got other people to pray for them.  We had a healing service.  We anointed them with oil, just like the Bible tells us to.  But they still died.  Why the freak did you have us do all that if you were just going to take them in the end?  Are you trying to kill our faith in you?"

When we have these WTF? moments, we have three choices we can make.  First, we can either decide there is no God or decide that He isn't who He says He is and turn away from Him.  Second, we could let the WTF? question overcome us and spin our wheels by constantly asking God "Why?" and let anger, resentment and self-pity rule our relationship with Him.  Or third, we can trust God to be who He says He is and keep chugging forward.

The second option, even though many people take it, doesn't make any logical sense since it will keep you stuck in a state of emotional turmoil.  So the only logical options to take boil down to the decision between trusting God or not trusting God.  And if we want to reap any blessings or reward from our walk with Christ, we have to trust Him.  By not trusting Him, everything in our life hinges on us and our power and our reason and God can't do a whole lot with that.  We'll never be more than what we can do on our own.  But by trusting Him, we've now tapped into the infinite Creator of all things, who knows all, who sees all and is the only source of unconditional and infinite love.  He welcomes us as His Child and ordains our every step before we take it.  Some of those steps may be uncomfortable for us, but we know it is for our greater good and for the good of His Kingdom.  It doesn't make any sense not to trust God.  Mary walked the uncomfortable steps God laid out for her and 2000 years later her Son is still being recognized as one of the most influential people in history, and will be for all eternity.

God's promises and miracles are especially for our WTF? moments.  Those times when we hit a crossroads of uncertainty with God, that is when we need to cling to what He has promised us and remember times in the past where He kept His promises to us.  You aren't the only Christian that has WTF? moments with God.  Make sure, though, when you have those moments to choose the path of trusting God.  It is the only path that guarantees a return on your investment.

No comments: