by Karla Hein
During this Advent season, I never thought Mary and I had much in common. In one supernatural encounter, she accepts the honour of bearing the Messiah (Luke 1:29-38). I relate better to someone like Gideon putting out a fleece or two, making certain of God’s calling (Judges 6:36-40).
“We mothers must take care of the possible and trust God for the impossible” (Ruth Bell Graham). I remember Gabriel’s response to Mary’s practicality: “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk. 1:37). Maybe Mary and I have something in common after all. The commonality of something that we view as an obstacle transforming to nothing with God; the impossible we cannot control becoming possible by “the power of the Most High” (Lk. 1:35).
The other night, I pattered through our dark house to my little son’s bedroom. I knelt beside his bed, hearing his precious breath. I thought of all the terrible what-ifs that could crush his body and his spirit. I thought of my relationship with Christ and how I desire my son to experience this as his own.
I cried for God’s help. He answered through Samuel’s words when the Israelites demanded a king: “far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way” (1 Sam. 12:23).
“We cannot convict of sin, create hunger and thirst after God, or convert. These are miracles, and miracles are not in our department” (Ruth Bell Graham).
Notice the similarity between Gabriel and Mary’s dialogue and Jesus’ and the disciples’ conversation about salvation. The disciples “were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matt. 19:25-26).
What is my role? Not ceasing in prayer. Always ready to instruct and “to give an account for the hope that is in [me]” (1 Pet. 3:15).
Lately, I’ve allowed the cares of this world to distract me from this great mission. The still, small voice whispers, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things” (Lk. 10:41). I don’t want to be a Martha, Lord! I’d rather be known as a Mary—the one who chose the good part or the one who believed there would be a fulfillment of God’s promise (Lk. 1:45; 10:42).
Like He saw Hagar in the wilderness, God is the One Who sees me weary in the desert of my obligations (Gen. 16:13). I finally stop “seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word” (Lk.10:39). I hear my name softly spoken now, “Karla, Karla, your Heavenly Father knows what you need. Your days are written in His book; you need not fear” (Lk. 10:39; 12:30-32; Ps. 139:16).
“Only fear the Lord. Serve Him with all your heart. And remember what great things He has done for you” (I Sam. 12:24). I relinquish the impossible to where it belongs and where it has always been and will always be—with Him Who receives all glory from my service.