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Receiving With Expectation — Broken & Hopeful


I’ve been particularly struck this year by Mary’s response to the angel when he announces that she will give birth to the Savior. Depending on the translation you use, she says “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” “Behold, the Lord’s bond-servant; may it be done to me according to your word.” “As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” 

This sounds lovely, and I wish that would be my response in the same situation. But in reality, when you think through what this angel had just told her, I wonder if this was much more of a receiving than we imagine. This was receiving a lifetime of rejection, outcast status by so many who surrounded her in her little town. Although Joseph believed her and took her to be his wife anyway, I bet there were a lot of gossipers who did not believe her or understand at all what was going on. They made assumptions and wagged their tongues about what had happened to Mary. 

After giving birth to Jesus, Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt to get away from Herod’s proclamation to kill all the 2-year-olds to try to kill Jesus in the process. I’m sure when they returned to Nazareth, there was great bitterness from all the other families who had lost their sons who would be the same age as Jesus at that time. Again, rejection and outcast status prevailed. 

I realize what God is asking me is whether I will be willing to accept and receive His Word for me, even if it means a whole lot of pain. This doesn’t mean that God’s plan has constant pain, for there are good gifts throughout. I had never thought of how the gifts of the wise men would have been expensive enough to have paid for Mary and Joseph’s trip to Egypt and for them to live there for a time to escape Herod. (This is a note from the footnotes in the Passion Translation.) There was provision as well as sacrifice. 

I may not always know how it’s going to proceed, though, and I want to grasp at control. But what would it mean if I instead chose to receive and accept whatever God brings because I know He will provide for everything I need in it? I won’t know how, or what will come out of it specifically. But if my posture is to give thanks and receive, I can see more clearly to His promises.

I remember Corrie ten Boom said “Let God’s promises shine on your problems.” If God has brought something in your life, it is not empty of power! He brings both pain and plenty, and everything in between. But He also brings the way through, for He is the Way! Jesus knows the way ahead, and when I trust Him for it, I can see that nothing is impossible with Him. This is the place I want to go when I hear something from Him that I think is crazy and completely too much. I want to respond with acceptance through receiving, and an expectation of how He will be the Way through. 

No matter what you face this Christmas and on into the next year, try instead of dread and fear to turn your face expectantly for how God will bring power to His promise and lead you all the way through. 

Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!” Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her. Luke 1:37-38

Re-published with the permission of Hannah Morrell at Borken & Hopeful, a ministry created for those who feel broken to fin hope in Jesus.

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