“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” -Luke 1:45
Christmas just ended, and although this year’s Christmas was great for me, I don’t know if I will ever be able to beat the Christmas(es) I had as a child. I remember the exact place and time when I learned the truth about Santa- that he isn’t real. I still don’t know if the relationship I had with my neighborhood friend, who decided to ruin my life at the age of 8 with the truth about Santa, will ever be reconciled to how it was prior to my devastation. I’m sure you remember being a little kid, so certain that every thing about Santa Clause is true. It was so easy for us to believe I think, because Santa always delivered. Every Christmas I would let “Santa” know what I wanted, and every Christmas morning, “Santa” came through for me. I believed in him. I hoped in him because he was always faithful to his mission.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “This girl’s about to make a parallel between Santa Clause and Jesus. Perfect. Just what we need, more Christians to put incredibly cheesy crap on the internet…” Well, you’re partly right. Jesus, like Santa, is faithful to provide. But instead of Santa, let’s focus on the little child at Christmas time.
For those of you who are followers of Christ, do you remember the time when you gave your life to Jesus? I’m not talking about the time when you prayed a magic prayer to an imaginary friend to live in your heart forever, and then hoped for the best, but the time when you authentically chose to give up your entire being to your Creator. Soon after your decision, you started to experience what it was like to know God. The journey is breathtaking. You become more passionate and more aware of the needs of others. You discover God’s word and it all blows your mind. You meditate on the Lord’s promises. The Creator Of All Things begins to speak to you– and you are so full of hope. You, in those days, were like a child at Christmas; completely in awe of the mystery of the one in whom you believed.
But then it is almost as if we “grow up” and the “magic” of our faith begins to fade. This may not be the case for everyone, but more than likely there will be a point in your life when something or someone devastates you. The wonder and hope you were so sure of seems far out of reach. It is almost as if life shook you by the shoulders and said, “Wake up! Don’t you know that is all too good to be true? Life isn’t a fairy tale.” And although you still hold on to your beliefs about God, you do not feel him like you used to. You go through the motions and when things in life become devastating once again, you ask your friends to “keep you in their prayers.” You are always asking for comfort, and at times, you are comforted. Even so, your faith was nothing like how it was at the beginning. And all too often you decide to do what the Lord never intended for you to do- settle.
Now Dear Girl, before you feel burdened with guilt believing that you have made a shameful mess, take heart. Life is hard; God knows that. It is inevitable that a storm will come your way. It is good to call on God for comfort. In fact, the Lord loves it when we tell him what is on our hearts and minds (1 Peter 5:7). He is all about that kind of intimacy. But isn’t intimacy what you crave when your faith feels dry? Is not intimacy what you feel you are missing?
The verse listed above (Luke 1:45) is a quote from John the Baptist’s mother, Elizabeth. Here Elizabeth is speaking to Mary (the mother of Jesus). Mary, as we know from the content provided in previous passages, was in love with the Lord. Her heart was full of faith as a young girl, and that is why she was chosen to mother the Savior of the world. Suddenly, Mary was devastated by her circumstances. Mary was about to face the hardest trial she had ever faced before. But she chose to believe what the angel had told her; that she was chosen and favored, that through her, God would change the world forever. Fast forward a bit when Mary went to see Elizabeth. Once Elizabeth saw Mary pregnant, Elizabeth knew that Mary had chosen to believe what God had told her- that he would keep his promises.
Beloved, you too are favored. You like Mary, are also chosen by God. He wants to change the world through you too! You, like us all have been devastated. Someone hurt you, and it seems impossible to have hope when you constantly feel like a victim. Someone who you adore is hurting and faith is just not the key to solving your problems right now. You have messed up and have fallen into a cycle of sin that makes you feel so unworthy to delight yourself in the Lord. But no matter those things Beloved, you are chosen and you are favored. You do not feel in line with God’s glory, because right now, you aren’t. The devastation has come your way, and you have chosen to ask God for a way out. But God does not intend for his chosen ones to run away. God wants you to believe; To have faith that he will bring you through. To have faith and understand that what seems devastating is just the brewing of a miracle. The storms you face are opportunities in disguise. You have to choose Dear Girl, to believe. Believe that there will be a fulfillment of what was spoken to you from the Lord, and you will be blessed!
I promise you that once you chose to believe that God will fulfill his promises to you, and choose to take on what is your devastating circumstance, your soul will be full. Your spirit will be renewed. Your hope will be healed. God will change the world through you, but you, Beloved, have to choose to believe that your God is faithful. You have to be faithful to him as he is faithful to you.
Therefore there is absolutely no need for you to settle, Dear Girl. Remember what your Savior has promised to you and believe those words. If you are called to ministry, don’t settle for anything else. If you were told you will do great things, then please, do not conform. If you have a passion to teach about our Lord, then speak now! We are all called on purpose and for a purpose. Don’t stop believing in He who called you.
Make this new year one in which you give God permission to bring you through your devastation. So that he may fulfill the wonderful promises he has made to you.