“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit exalts in God my Saviour.”
This past Sunday the church celebrated the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the mother of Christ. It focuses on her “yes”, her trust, and her faithfulness. I was stuck on the words, Thy will be done. We take for granted that Mary was just this extra-ordinary person who found it so easy to say yes – whatever you say, Lord. The truth is, in Luke, it states that Mary was greatly troubled. The Angel, Gabriel, saw her troubled heart and comforted her with the words “be not afraid, Mary”. What was it that turned Mary’s fear and anxiety into her “be it done to me according to Your word”?
My thoughts turned back to my trust, my faithfulness, and my own yes……or is it my maybe? When my plan and God’s are parallel, it’s easy to praise Him. I’ve even learned to lean on scripture to remind myself of His promises, as I am confident Mary must have done as well. For in her magnificat, she speaks of the great things God has done for her and His promise of mercy for those who fear Him – the list of His good works follow. So through the ups and down, the bruises and falls, we pick ourselves up, recount those promises and march on with praise on our lips knowing that our Father in heaven is a good Father who loves us and has good things in store for us.
But then there are the days, or perhaps even the seasons, where our flesh becomes weak and we cry out to God – “WHY, Lord? I have followed your ways. I’ve been obedient. I’ve prayed and sought you in all I do. Why have you forgotten me?” It is in this moment of brokenness and emptiness that I must drown myself in His Holy Word and resist the temptation to stay fixed in the confusion. I must admit that I don’t always understand His ways or His timing but ask Him to guide me, in faith, as the scriptures unfold. I need help to believe these words deep in my soul.
I envision Mary, once again, as depicted in the story “The Christ”. Her thoughts racing from the words the Angel Gabriel spoke to her, to holding her newborn son, to a running toddler, and a healthy, happy, young man. Then the sudden shock of the vision that lay before her – a beaten, bloody man; despised and rejected. In a moment, her world was turned around, again…as it had been thirty years earlier. Is this what being “blessed among women” was to look and feel like? Did she doubt? Did she question?
We look at our earthly circumstances and wonder how can this all be a part of your plan? This just hurts too much. Yet, if we follow Mary’s example, we know that after the death of her beloved son, she was found in the upper room with the Apostles. She surrounded herself with other believers. People who could recount those promises, offer comfort, and pray – perhaps when her grief was just too great to see beyond the moment. We, too, can follow that example and surround ourselves with others that can remind us that God loves us, has a purpose for our life, and keeps His promises in those times when we’re too broken to find our own way to His heart – for He is God…..and we are not!
This song by Hillary Scott speaks of the moments when Christians, and non-Christians alike, are faced with the reality that brokenness is a part of our earthly life. That brokenness, that moment when perhaps we don’t have everything all figured out leaves an emptiness within us. That emptiness, if we choose to surrender it to God, and invite Him into it, becomes the vessel in which He will fill us. This is God’s work being done through us. Our magnificat – our yes, Lord – be it done to me according to Your Word.
Thy Will Be Done