December 22, 2015
Life is good. Simple and straightforward and, for the most part anyway, somewhat predictable.
And then there is that one moment when everything changes. That decisive moment when God asks you to believe in the impossible. To believe that miracles can happen. And in that moment, with terrified heart, and with trembling voice you utter the phrase that will reshape the course of the rest of your life: Yes, you say, I believe.
You know it will be hard, of course. It’s just that, you don’t know how hard it will be. How incredibly isolating. Friends and family members, your favorite people whom you trust and beside whom you live life . . . surely they will share your passion. Surely they will be thrilled to participate in this grand adventure with you.
How can it be, then, that you find yourself completely alone, misunderstood, abandoned. Your relationships broken. Your reputation ruined. Even your beloved, the one who promised to love and cherish you until death do you part, doubts you. He stares in disbelief into your eyes and says in confusion, I thought I knew you.
Eventually, however, in His perfect timing, the Miracle does occur, and it is indeed every bit as spectacular and breathtaking as He had promised it would be. It is exciting, then, to see God’s story unfold. To watch in awe as mountains move and obstacles diminish. And oh, the wonder of it all! What an incredible, unbelievable honor to play a small part, to see first-hand God’s glory on display. This is your moment! The moment that all of your previous moments have been preparing you for, when your life’s purpose becomes evident and clear! This is the reward for your choice to believe!
But now? Now the miracle of yesterday has turned into darkness. The God who spoke so clearly to you, calling you to this beautiful life, has become silent. Gone are the magnificent moments. The splendor, the glorious story has now become mundane and small. Predictable. Exhausting.
Now, your days and weeks and months are just hard. They are filled, not with earth-shattering events or extraordinary circumstances, but with monotony and messes and madness. You labor and toil and extend every effort to carry out your responsibilities, and all of it is completely invisible. You spend your days in a place where no one will ever see.
And tomorrow, you get to do it all over again.
This role to which you have been called is overwhelming, and you feel so inadequate, so incapable of doing it well. You think, It's just too much! I can't do this! Maybe God chose the wrong person for this task after all. Maybe there is someone else somewhere who could be doing it so much better. With more joy and perseverance. Someone who might believe.
But here’s the thing . . . In obscurity, in the hidden places, in your moments of doubt and insecurity and uncertainty, when your strength is depleted and you feel like you are failing at every turn, it is here that you are learning the deep secrets of His heart. You are catching a glimpse of the same treasure that countless saints have discovered before you, and that millions more will find after you: that each new morning is a new opportunity to believe again. To believe that somehow, in the silence and in the loneliness and in the darkness, God’s story is still being written. And it is a story that is bigger than you can see. A story too wonderful to imagine.
With each new sunrise comes a new opportunity to believe that joy is possible. Joy in obedience to this good – yes, good - life to which God has called you. Joy in the unexpected moments of laughter and connections and beauty. Joy in the realization that you can cease striving, because His grace is indeed enough.
At the dawning of another day, you are learning to believe that perfect peace comes from a surrendered heart. You surrender your dreams of what you thought your life would look like. You surrender your plans and goals to become a world changer (because, after all, you just might be raising one). You surrender your own strength and weaknesses, qualifications and inabilities, successes and mistakes . . . and it is there, in that sweet surrender, that you find perfect peace.
During this quiet, secluded chapter of your life, you are learning that He didn’t just appear that one time. He didn’t just ask you to trust that one time for that one miracle. Every morning, a new miracle is happening, right in your own heart. You can almost feel the resolve and the steadfastness and the perseverance growing stronger and more defined by the minute.
Every morning, the calling for your life is the same. Not to astound the world with your amazing feats. Not to be perfect or extraordinary or even good enough. Every morning, there is just one thing that He asks of you:
I am the Lord's servant, Mary answered.
May it be to me as you have said.
Blessed is she who has believed
that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!
Luke 1:38 and 45