For most of us, the weeks leading up to Christmas can be hectic and stressful. Perhaps we would do well to consider the example of a pure, simple virgin who became the Mother of our Savior. Her example may serve as an antidote during this busy season.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him…
For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke 1:46-50, 55 NLT)
Do you ever feel like the holiday season is one big merry-go-round that just keeps spinning faster and faster? In our modern society, the time leading up to Christmas Day is just rush, rush, rush. If you ask people what feeling they most often associate with Christmas, many probably would answer, “Stress!” How do we handle such a stressful season?
Perhaps it will help to think about Mary. Here we have a poor, common peasant girl, living in a little “hick” town called Nazareth. She has recently become engaged to a local tradesman, Joseph. She is excited, looking with great anticipation to her upcoming nuptials. But there is also all the stress of planning a wedding and preparing for a new life with her new husband.
Then, out of nowhere a bombshell comes her way. An angel appears. An announcement is made. Mary will bear a child, the Savior, the Lord Himself.
Now Mary faces even more stress. Not only is she planning a wedding, but she is with child, and not yet married. She faces the confusion, anger and judgment of family, friends, neighbors, religious leaders. She will be misunderstood, even condemned. She has to explain it all to Joseph. (How do you explain this situation?) If Joseph does not understand… if he does not accept her word, then he could actually have her stoned to death for being unfaithful to him. Talk about stress.
But what is Mary’s response? To the angel she cries, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” To her cousin Elisabeth she declares the praises of God, “My soul does magnify the Lord!” What is Mary’s response? In the midst of the most stressful time of her life she surrenders her emotions, her will, her situation into the hands of a faithful God. And she worships! Her soul sours heavenward in adoration and praise to her heavenly Father.
Here we find in the example of Mary an antidote to our own stress, fear and anxiety: Surrender and worship. In the stress and anxiety of what you are facing in life, facing right now, surrender to your heavenly Father your own emotions, your own will, your own situation. And then worship… worship as an expression of not only adoration, but confidence in the God who is able to take care of every trial, problem, stress and troubled situation in your life! Let your soul magnify the Lord!
Truth Builders is a ministry initiative of Advancing Native Missions. However, the content of this site is the personal opinion of Victor Morris, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views or conclusions of Advancing Native Missions, its leaders or staff