In the small town of Nazareth, Mary gazed at the night sky ablaze with a thousand stars.
Does God see me from way up there? she wondered. Her life seemed like a small one, not big or special. Mary imagined what her life would be like. She would soon be married to a carpenter named Joseph, who had almost finished building their new home. Their lives would probably fill up with normal things: Joseph crafting things from wood, Mary caring for their home and raising children. Mary didn’t know that God’s eyes were fixed on her, His daughter, whom He had chosen long ago for a spectacular spot in the great story He was writing.
Mary was out walking a few days later when the angel Gabriel appeared in her path. “Mary!” Gabriel shouted aloud. “God loves you! He has picked you for a super important job. His Son is coming soon. He will be your baby. You will be His mommy.” “What?!” questioned Mary. “I’m going to have a baby? I’m not married yet!” A river of fears ran through Mary’s heart. This news,
if it was true, would turn her life upside down. In her town it was a bad thing for a girl without a husband to have a baby. It was possible that she would be kicked out of her family or put to death, but God said His Son was coming, and He had chosen her to be the mommy. This isn’t the story I would have dreamed for myself, Mary thought, but do I trust that God is a better dreamer than I am? It seemed impossible that Mary would be the mom to the King of the world. It seemed impossible that anyone would ever believe what Gabriel was telling her. The angel smiled gently and spoke into the doubts clouding her head. “Nothing is impossible with God.” With those words, Mary’s heart felt lighter and her hope grew stronger. I belong to the Lord. Whatever He wants me to do, I will do, she thought. Then she smiled, too.
When Jesus came into Mary’s world, He made her ordinary life into something extraordinary. Everything she had planned was suddenly changed. Everything normal was gone, but what may have looked like a disaster to other people was actually God writing an amazing story into Mary’s life. Her world was going to be filled with knowing and loving Jesus. The same is true for us. When Jesus comes into our hearts, He makes our ordinary lives extraordinary. The things He wants us to do may look strange or silly to other people. But we trust that God is actually doing something bigger and better than we could have dreamed for ourselves. When we believe that knowing and loving Jesus is better than anything else, we can say along with Mary, “I belong to the Lord. Whatever He wants me to do, I will do.”
What are some things that Jesus says for us to do that might seem strange or silly to others?
What things do you hope will happen in your life? How would you feel if God told you that your life would be different from what you want it to be?
This Advent devotional resource was produced by The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. The original resource can be found here.