Long summer days would find my brother, sister and I deep in the woods behind my childhood home. Whether building forts, catching tadpoles or partaking in some magical game of make-believe, we were entirely engrossed in our adventure in the woods. That is until we heard my dad’s whistle. We would stop playing, gather whatever toys, tools or shoes might have found their way into the woods with us and head home. All along the way home we would yell “coming” until a last we’d see our Dad in the backyard telling us to wash up for dinner. Our father called us and we came.
If only it was as easy with our Heavenly Father to figure out what the Lord is asking of you and then doing it. Neither of these are easy but I have to say that for me the hardest part of following a calling of the Lord is believing. There were times the Lord wanted something done but I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that I was supposed to do it. Instead my brain wallowed in disbelief. “Someone should do something.” Or “I would do it but I can’t sacrifice my time, talents or money.” Or “If the Lord called me, He would have made it easy” There is a part of responding to the Lord’s calling that’s more than hearing and doing… it’s believing.
This leads me to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Imagine an angel tells you that you are going to have a baby who will be God’s Son and He’ll reign on His throne forever. Mary’s just a poor teenage girl from the sticks. There’s no thrones, no kings just Mary. And yet she believed. Luke 1:45 says of Mary “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”
How could Mary believe she was truly called to do this most amazing thing? The key to believing you should do the things the Lord wants done is believing He will be with you through it.
It’s one thing to be called. It’s another thing to know the person calling you is there with you. Let’s go back to those three kids in the woods. Did they want to stop playing and go home? No. But the whistle was not just a sound to tell them to come. It was acknowledgement that their father was waiting for them.
Mary knew that her heavenly father was there for her too. Luke 1:48 Mary proclaims how God sees her “for He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.” The creator of the universe has asked her to do something for Him but God does not leave Mary to figure it out alone. God is mindful of her just as he is mindful of you.
This Christmas BELIEVE. Believe that there are things the Lord has called you to do but just as important, believe that He is with you. Remember they called Mary’s son Immanuel which means God is with us. The true gift of Christmas is allowing yourself to believe it: God is with you. Amen