Do you ever wonder? Wonder what it would be like to be Mary? A young woman who had contracted to be married to a good man, Joseph. Things were going as planned until they weren’t. The angel Gabriel interrupted Mary’s life one day. Reading through Luke 1, we find this amazing, but familiar story. God sent Gabriel sent to a specific place, Nazareth. To a specific person, Mary; to give a specific message: You will conceive and bear a son, a son who will be called the Son of the Most High.
This specific message to this specific young woman changed not only her life but also Joseph’s, of course and then the worlds. I wonder about the conversation Mary must have had with both her parents and, of course, Joseph. She had to tell them of this visitation. These were real people, with real emotions. We know Joseph had a bit of a struggle with the news, because he contemplated breaking the marriage agreement. Once again, God sent an angel, this time in a dream, to assure him that what Mary had said was genuine. As I read their story and put myself in their place, I am amazed at the faith and grace God gave them to walk their calling out. It was unique to them, as is our calling unique to us. No matter our calling, we have to walk it out with faith.
They still had to do some difficult things. Now the government interrupted their lives. During those days, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, ordered that the first census be taken throughout his empire. (Quirinius was the governor of Syria at that time.) Everyone had to travel to his or her hometown to complete the mandatory census. So Joseph and his fiance, Mary, left Nazareth, a village in Galilee, and journeyed to their hometown in Judea, to the village of Bethlehem, King David’s ancient home. They were required to register there, since they were both direct descendants of David. Mary was pregnant and nearly ready to give birth. Luke 2:1-5 TPT I did some research, and it was about a ninety-mile trip. Many think it must have taken them about five days to make the journey. Not comfortable at nine months pregnant. No one knew their significant story at this point. They were just two travelers obeying the law of the land. No special recognition or special amenities given.
Taking time to think through the reality of their story helps me understand that just because you have a specific call on your life, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In fact, thinking about the different “stand outs” in scripture, like Esther, Nehemiah or the prophets, they all had it rough. They persevered. They simply accepted the difficulties as part of their purpose. I am trying to do the same with my life. Maturity means we accept the hard things without murmuring and complaining. Maturity means we keep going when we want to quit. Maturity means we count the purpose more important than the cost. In the letter to the church of Philadelphia, John writes: Because you have kept my command to persevere, I will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.Revelation 3:10. I am not sure what all this scripture refers to–but I hear God’s heart in wanting us to stay the course, no matter what. My friends, no matter what you are facing, you can do it. Do not let your flesh or Satan tell you it would be better to quit. Please keep going. If you need prayer, ask for it. If you need help, get it. But please do not draw back from following Him. There is a blessing coming. The fellowship of the suffering with Him, is always worth it. Do not wonder if it would be easier to step away from your calling, it won’t be. Because who else has the words of eternal life?
Let us take hope and heart from dear Mary and Joseph. They fulfilled their calling and purpose. Maybe you don’t feel you are as important as them. That your calling is small and insignificant. I would ask you to think through those thoughts. You are telling the King of Kings, the Lord and Maker of the Universe, that He made a mistake. Release your faith, my friends. Look up! It is always worth the cost of serving Him. He finished His call and purpose for us, we can do the same.
Father, I thank you for your grace to persevere. We know life has rough times, but you are always with us during them. You will show us a way through the wilderness. We have the promise of your Light that will light our path. I ask you strengthen my friends this day. Encourage those that are weary and tired, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.