It’s an amazing time of year, full of the miraculous, pregnant with possibilities!  It’s the season when some of us understand more fully that the One who created this world, who set everything in motion and watches over it all with unconditional love, that One continues to plan great things for our lives.

Remember when the angel visited Mary with the news that she would bear the Christ child?  She was a young girl, probably unaware of any impending mystery, some incredible change about to take over her life.  Yet, a visit from an angel informing her to expect great things, did just that.  Changed her life in an instant.  As she tried to grasp the situation with her limited understanding, she could only ask a practical question.  How could this happen?

In an effort to confirm God’s hand, the angel tells her of another miracle, a barren older woman named Elizabeth who is already six months pregnant because “nothing is impossible with God.”    Mary finally responds, “I am the Lord’s servant.”

We rise each day, plan our work, the errands we’ll take on, the myriad of things that we think are important.  We plan and we hope, but do we expect great things? Are we poised to change the whole course of our lives if God has a better idea?  Are we ready to respond, “I am the Lord’s servant?”

It’s a good question to ponder at this time of year, as you anticipate the New Year, and as you look into each day!  What do we expect of life?  Do we ever expect the great things God wants for us, or do we settle for the near miss, the almost there, the hope that maybe tomorrow or next week something more wonderful will happen?

Whether we create opportunities for greatness or greatness is thrust upon us, the understanding is that God is in control, creating because that’s what He does so well, new hope, new opportunity, new direction for each of us.  How He finds the heart of a Mary in a world like ours seems pretty impressive.  But then, with God all things are possible, aren’t they?

To me, one of the interesting things about Mary is how quickly she accepts this news.  This was news that would change everything in her life.  People would gossip about her, disapprove of her, question her sanity, and yet she believed the angel and prepared to expect great things!

Our culture is so poised to look at things intellectually, to make maps and charts and figure out the details that come with each step of life so we think we have some level of control, that most of us are NOT Mary’s.  Most of us would come back to the angel with a long list of questions and perhaps some other options to carry this thing out in a way that made more sense to us.

We are hooked on life making sense!  It doesn’t, at least not always.  Sometimes, we have to actually let God be in control and throw up our hands as in the Carrie Underwood song and say, “Jesus take the wheel.”  We sometimes actually have to put that phrase to the test for ourselves, the one we’re so glibly able to say to others when we’re not personally involved, the one that says, “With God all things are possible!”

Christmas stories are full of miracles, full of God’s hand at work.  God expects great things and does great things for those He loves.  He sees you.  He sees your tender heart, your searching mind.  He knows you need Him and He will not ever leave you.  For His Son, the One born of a servant girl named Mary, was born to deliver the greatest gift of all…the redeeming love connecting each of us to things we didn’t even know would be possible.  The message is delivered fresh to you each time you remember you’re “the Lord’s servant”…so expect great things for nothing is impossible with God!

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