Joy in the Midst

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, thought here are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

Mary experienced joy despite her world turned bring flipped upside down. In Luke’s gospel, we learn that Mary lived at home, single, and engaged, when angel Gabriel appeared to announce that God had plans for her. She would conceive and bear a boy and name Him Jesus. Such good news, but also terrifying for Mary!Could Mary have known the challenges her glorious role would require?

Virgin and pregnant! How could this be? Worried if Joseph would believe her “Gabriel story.” The pain of childbirth, in a barn, on a trip. Raising Jesus knowing he was special. Losing Jesus at the Passover Feast; finding Him in the temple doing is Father’s business. The uncertainty of watching Jesus’ public ministry, a prophet not welcomed in His hometown.Standing at the cross at His crucifixion; Jesus entrusting her to John.Gathering with the apostles after the resurrection in the upper room.

What was God up to?

Mary’s initial response to Gabriel’s announcement was disbelief, and then a quiet resolve: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Later, she visited Elizabeth and learned afresh of Jesus’ unique status in the universe. She responded, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant” (Luke1:46-47).

How might we find joy amidst this busy season or when pressures abound? Might we learn from Mary who submitted herself to God, aware that He had her best interests at heart?

Dearest Lord, no matter what pressures I face, be it the busyness of the season or just life in general, help me greet it with joy knowing that you have a plan and a purpose for it and will see me through whatever is to come. Amen.

By Dr. Bill Strom
Used by Permission

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