Friday, December 14, 2012

Not-so-Silent Night

She was pregnant. For all intents and purposes, to the whispering outside world, the baby was illegitimate. Her soon-to-be husband was branded a fool and she had to know that he had toyed with a plan to quietly divorce her. It didn't change her mind. It didn't sway her attitude. When the angel came to her and spoke the words that would alter her very young life forever, she didn't whine. She asked one single question and she accepted that God was sovereign and she waited.

She didn't complain about the nasty comments she overheard in her gravid condition. She didn't attempt to explain her situation or send back a haughty retort that she would be the mother of the Savior. She didn't have even a hint of a surly attitude when her husband informs her they would be traveling during her last moments of pregnancy. Mary just trusted. After months of carrying a child that she must have been vastly unsure of (what does the progeny of God look like?), after riding a donkey all the way into Bethlehem, silently in labor I might add, Mary lays down in the straw and dirt of an old barn and gives birth alone.

I don't think I need to tell you that I am not made of that kind of tough! I would have been screaming at the top of my lungs as soon as the pains started. (I know this because that is exactly what I did when my own were born.) I would have been clutching at Joseph's hands, trying with all my tiny might to crush his bones to dust and I would have probably broken out with some stellar phrases questioning the origins of his birth as well as this child's... (Getting a picture of what my husband went through, are you? Ya, twern't pret-tay!)

But more than that, more than my lack of quiet spirit and sweet disposition, I don't have that level of trust. Nowhere near it. I would have been questioning from the very beginning and I would have doubted. I would have attempted at least weekly to call up Gabriel and ask multiple times what the plan was, how was it going to go again and if there really was any way I could be pregnant without looking pregnant. There are no records of further questions from Mary. She asks how it might happen since she is a virgin and then simply accepts that this is what her God is requiring of her and waits for it to come to pass.

For me it isn't about whether or not I was born with Mary's quiet kind of spirit. I think I have established rather firmly that I was not. It is about what I choose to do with what I am given now. I know that my instant reactions are often way off kilter. I accept that. I also know that somewhere in the midst of what is going on I will have an opportunity to choose. I can choose to complain, whine and grouse about my situation, or I can choose to look it dead in the eye, pray for an answer to some questions, and then accept that the God who has seen me through many storms thus far will see me through this one. When it all comes down to it, it is about choosing to let my God be God.

As this Christmas season closes in and the temps drop to chilly levels, as my schedule amps up and I feel rushed and uncertain, as things ebb and flow with the way they always do, I know I will have my meltdowns. I also know that I will have a choice to make. I pray right now that in that moment, when silence penetrates my heart and I am there on the edge of sanity, that I will be reminded to choose to trust Him. I will remember that I am not riding on the back of an ass to a town without a hotel during the last moments of my intense labor to give birth in the dirt alone. I will remember that she did all that so that I can sit back and watch Him, her precious baby boy, work a miracle on my behalf - Not because I deserve it or have earned it, but because it pleases Him. Amazing, ain't it? That kind of Grace just rocks my world...

Be blessed!