All this week, you and I have been studying about what it looks like to let go and let God. We’ve talked about letting go of the people we love. We’ve talked about letting go of our circumstances and letting God work inside of those. It’s not really just letting things go and letting them fall to the ground… It’s really transferring them from our hands to God’s hands. And you know they are safer in God’s hands.
Today, you and I are going to study what it looks like to let go of our expectations, and I can’t think of a better person in the Bible to study and read about than Mary. Let’s go.
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The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go. Hi, I’m Erica, your host for the Bible for Busy People. Those are some of my favorite words. I remember them every year because I believe God puts clues all throughout his creation to point to how He wants us to live. It’s just how He works. He’s so faithful. He knows we’re forgetful, and so He puts things all around us that remind us of how He works in our lives. All this week, you and I have been studying about what it looks like to let go and let God. We’ve talked about letting go of the people we love. How often is it our children, right? We’ve talked about letting go of our circumstances and letting God work inside of those. It’s not really just letting things go and letting them fall to the ground. It’s really transferring them from our hands to God’s hands. And you know, you know that they are safer in God’s hands. Today, you and I are going to study what it looks like to let go of our expectations, right? And I couldn’t think of a better person in the Bible to study and read about than Mary. If you haven’t ever even cracked open a Bible in your life, you know the story. She was visited by an angel and how it changed the world. So today, maybe you’re dealing with some expectations that have gone awry. Maybe you’ve made some plans and they’ve fallen through. Well, I have good news for you today because the Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11,
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Alright, let’s read Mary’s story now through the lens of those words, you and I just heard, God has a future and a hope for us plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Okay, join me now in the gospel of Luke chapter one beginning in verse 26.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings,[d] favored woman! The Lord is with you! ”29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail. ”38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
Wow. Can you imagine what Mary felt like in those moments? She was by herself. The Bible doesn’t say anybody was with her. Did she sit there for a long time and wonder, “Did I just dream that? Did I eat some bad chicken before I went to sleep?” Or did she run to her best friend or her mama or one of her siblings? Don’t you wonder? Because the apple cart of her life was completely flipped over by God. But there’s something I want you to know in this moment. This was not a surprise to God. Life can often throw us a curve ball, but God never ever experiences a curve ball being thrown in his direction. Nothing we can do can surprise him, and nothing that he does in our lives is designed to harm us. He never throws a curve ball expecting us to get hit in the head. He has a purpose for every single thing that happens to us.
We might think that we’ve blown up the plans for our lives, or we might think that we have the best plan for our lives, but in every case, every time, God’s plans trump ours. We want to go in the direction that God has called us to go. Every single day I pray for my children, or I try to. I’m sure I miss a day or two. God help them to walk with you, my Hannah and Joshua, every day of their lives. I pray that for my niece and nephew often as well. That is the prayer, right? God lead us, guide us.
Last week we talked about how God is our good shepherd and he’s always leading us through the valleys of life. I can imagine how terrified Mary was. She must have been terrified, filled with wonder, excited, nervous. Every emoji must have filled her stomach and her heart after the visit of the angel . And then consider Joseph. We’re not going to get into his story today, but imagine how he felt. This couple was betrothed. They were to be married, and all of a sudden Joseph finds out that Mary’s going to have a baby and that an angel told her the baby was actually the Son of God. What was it like for Joseph? The expectations of their lives were completely turned upside down. Mary and Joseph were an ordinary couple, but God saw them. God chose them. And I want you to know something, God chose you for whatever plan is unfolding in your life right now. He has a hope and a future for you, and I believe the words of the angel Gabriel apply to you and apply to me. I want to speak them over you right now.
The Lord is with you.
Soak that up right now. He is with you. And also,
Don’t be afraid.
If the apple cart of your life has been turned upside down, God is going to use every apple that falls out of the cart. Every unmet expectation in your life for your good and His glory. Our role is to open our hands and open our hearts like Mary and Joseph did. I mean, if they can do it, you and I can do it. Until next time, you are really loved.
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