Luke 2:6 ESV
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
Where? Bethlehem of Judea, 80 miles away from home and family. That pathetic town too small to be among the clans of Judah (Mi 5:2). When they were there– the time came.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of too much when one more was added to your plate? Have you ever been asked to do something when you didn’t have enough time, money or energy? Yes. What is fantastic about the stress we typically live under is how life has a way of forcing us to discern what is most important. If it’s not your thing or you don’t really care, you won’t do it. However, when it’s your passion or when it’s for someone you want to impress- you make it work.
Mary was asked to travel on foot and beast via nasty terrain while pregnant during her third trimester. Inconvenient. Yet, she did it. For Joseph? Probably, and in the process fulfilled the next major piece of ancient prophesy. It’s amazing how God leverages every part of us for His glory. Our pursuits, our loves and even our weaknesses.
Now, we’re usually OK with all the above but the timing part is where faith gets sideways.
The time came for her. This wasn’t her choice. No way Mary would have chosen to give birth to the Son of God in a manger, in Bethlehem. When pressed for an earlier answer she said, “be it unto me” concerning being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and giving birth as a virgin. However, when she agreed to the call she also agreed to everything else. Be it unto me brings far more than the obvious. This is why faith in God is so salient. There are times along the journey when we must just trust Him. Regardless of how excruciatingly inconvenient, we are forced to submit to His timing.
Please note that last word is used over 50 times in scripture- yes, it’s that important to your life. Nevertheless forces us to locate where we are in our journey. If we can’t say nevertheless, we may need to recalibrate our pursuits.
Why do we spend more at Christmas than we actually have? Why do we invite people over we may not even like? Because we are beckoned at this time to give more. And more. We look at our balance and say, “nevertheless.” We delve into our feelings and say, “nevertheless.” Why? Because at Christmas, our desire to give rushes past our temptation to do less.
Let’s not forget the potential of God’s goodness in all of us. Mary didn’t have to say, “be it unto me.” She didn’t have to go to Bethlehem. But she did. His plan, His goodness and His call led to the greatest gift ever given to us- and He used Mary every step of the way.
Get ready to be used by God- for His purposes, for His glory, for His people.
A weekly blog by G. Shawn Scarborough, Pastor of Livingstone Church