Season of Wonder or Worry

Thanksgiving for 2010 is history and Christmas is upon us. This holy holiday can become one of the most hectic times of the year. As we head into the season let’s pause to look at one of the characters from the first Christmas who modeled serenity in less than peaceful circumstances: Mary, the mother of Jesus.

As we read Mary’s story (Luke 1:26-2:52) we often find her pondering in her heart the extraordinary events surrounding Jesus’ birth and life. Her response is one of wonder — not worry. After Gabriel’s amazing declaration that she will give birth to God’s Son, Mary responds,“I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Mary uses the Greek word “doulos” for “servant” in Luke 1:38. “Doulos” means “bondslave” or “a slave who is devoted to the interests of his master to the extent that he disregards his own interests.”1 It was a permanent and willing relationship based on the desire of the servant.

What questions, objections, or concerns do you imagine Mary, a morally pure, devout virgin, engaged to be married, having? The stigma of illegitimacy followed Jesus throughout His life (John 8:41). In our morally lax society, it may be difficult to appreciate the sting of such a label in Mary’s culture. Yet Mary cared more about what God knew to be true of her than what people thought or gossiped about her. Paul echoed her sentiment in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Mary and Paul chose to be willing servants and trusted God with His will for their lives. Mary surrendered without reserve or question to her Lord. What a contrast from Moses, who was full of excuses and argued with God; Jonah, who ran the other way, and Isaiah and Jeremiah, who focused on their lack of experience and the inadequacies of youth rather than the adequacy of God.

Mary might have asked, “What about Joseph, what will he think? Will I lose him? What will this do to my reputation? Am I to be shunned and called immoral?” But, she didn’t place conditions or require assurances before accepting God’s plan for her. She trusted that God knew what He was doing.

What keeps you from complete surrender to God’s Word and will for your life? What reservations are disturbing your serenity in surrendering to God?

Mary teaches me to stand in wonder — not worry when God’s plan seems to throw a wrench in my plans. His plan will turn out to be eternally better even though it may be temporarily confusing, and even uncomfortable and painful. Are you filled with wonder or worry? Let us learn from Mary and devote ourselves to trusting God in whatever circumstances we enter.



1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies Volume 3, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 1973 page 46

This was adapted from Debbie’s book, Your Invitation to a Better Life..

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  1. Sue McGee Wind

    Ok, how can we share this on facebook so lots can read it?

  2. Tracey Horton

    Wow, Debbie, once again right on target for what I needed to hear. I hope ALL who receive this will read and heed!

  3. Janis

    What a good message! Wonder seems to follow surrender, whereas worry goes along with trying to maintain control. Mary had certainly surrendered fully to the Lord BEFORE he gave her the big news. Her example is astounding and inspiring!

  4. Diane Rumley

    Wonderful message. I love you! God speaks so beautifully through you. Thank you for being doulos!

  5. Lou Anne Liles

    Thanks for this message. I really needed to hear it. Losing 1/2 of our income has really hit hard and this was such a timely message for me as I try to figure out Christmas. Thank You.

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