I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today! Here’s a preview:
Every time I read about Mary’s conversation with the angel who was sent to tell her she was chosen to carry the Savior of humanity, I’m amazed. Her simple surrender in Luke 1:38, “I am the Lord’s servant . . . May your word to me be fulfilled,” transformed the world.
We don’t know if Mary understood the weight of the burden she would carry in the months to come, let alone the next three decades. All we know is she said yes, and Jesus entered the world as her son.
How is a strong faith like Mary’s—one wherein she was willing to surrender her body and life and the trajectory of her future to an unknown plan—formed? I imagine she spent hours praying and learning about God, strengthing her personal relationship with him.
From the very beginning, God invited man into relationship with him (Genesis 1:26-29). It is through relationship that we establish and strengthen trust and faith. This is how God created us.
Our relationships with friends, family members, and our spouses require our time and attention. Friends don’t come to us out of the blue and ask us for advice. They get to know us, learn to trust our heart and our intentions, and when they believe we have their best interests at heart, they come to us and ask for our input in hard situations.
When we are dating someone, we don’t enter into a commitment immediately. We get to know them. We see how they treat their family members and friends. We observe how they respond in hard situations and what they do in their spare time. When we do commit, we trust they will stay faithful to us in marriage because over time their character has revealed that they are loyal and true.
Our children don’t automatically obey us the first time we tell them to do something. They learn to obey when we teach them through repetition. They understand that we love them, that we set boundaries to protect them because we love them. Even so, sometimes they will disobey our rules and injure themselves. Our loving response assures them that the relationship is still intact, regardless of the consequences of their disobedience. continue reading here…