Page 346 was a Sunday, but it was the first snowy Sunday of the season. That meant I needed to be up early to work on the snow removal before people began arriving for the Sunday church services. As I walked out of the house and into the winter wonderland in the morning darkness, the beauty of the snow-covered ground was highlighted by the continued falling snow. When I made it to work and started shoveling the snow from the walks, there was a quiet peace that filled the property. I know the “worship service” wasn’t scheduled to begin until a few hours later, but worship was already taking place. Once the walks were cleared, I put down ice melt to try to keep them that way but the snow kept coming and left me with the dilemma of letting the ice melt do its job or shoveling again which would also remove the ice melt I had put down. I ended up focusing the snow removal efforts on the main entryway and left the ice melt to work on the walks leading up to it.
Once the church service began, I came in from the cathedral of the great outdoors to continue my worship of God inside. David continued a sermon series from the Gospel of Luke with a message, “A Matter of Perspective”, focused on Mary’s response to being chosen as the mother of Jesus. As with all stories of people in the Bible, the information isn’t there simply to teach us about a person’s life, but to also help us learn how we ought to respond to God. When we begin to understand how Mary responded to the message brought by the angel, we learn how we ought to respond to the messages God give us through His Word and His Spirit. Mary began by being able to see the blessings available to her in her situation. While the greeting of “most favored one” probably was a great surprise, her response indicates that the content of the message made her understand the truth of the greeting. Sometimes we face situations in life when our first glance doesn’t bring the idea of our being blessed to mind. It is important that we continue to seek God and to listen to Him for how His blessings will be revealed in our life. These daily pages have been a big help to me as they cause me to stop each day and consider what God has been doing in, through, and around me to make me more of who He created me to be.
Not only was Mary able to see the blessings in her situation, she could see the possibilities in her God. Even when given a message that defied the realm of physical possibility, Mary concluded that all things were possible with God. Yes, she had questions about how it would happen but she also had faith that God could do what He said. We may not always understand the how and why of what God want to do, but we need to reach the point where we believe He can do even the things that we view as impossible. When God promises to forgive our sins and hold them against us no longer, we need to believe that He can do that and so much more. It is in our believing in a God who can do the impossible that we begin to see our place in His plan. Mary knew her place in God’s plan and proclaims that she is the Lord’s servant. As a servant, she was also willing to do whatever God desired. Her place in God’s plan was to bring a Messiah into the world and nurture Him until the time was right to accomplish the Father’s will for Him. One of the keys to being able to see our place in God’s plan is to learn a contentment in doing what God has created us to do. It is so easy to look at what God has others doing and wish we could do their task as well, but that would likely leave the task undone that we were created to do. Each of us are a part of the body of Christ and our purpose within the body, while not always having the same level of visibility, always has the same level of importance. I write because God has gifted me in that area and He continually convinces me that somehow this writing is at least a piece of my part in His plan. Whatever He has put within you, He has done so for the benefit of His body.
Today’s photo is one I took through my office window as the snow began to fall a couple days ago. With the snow flying around him, this little guy had clasped onto the brush while enjoying an afternoon snack. There was a joy brought to my life just in seeing how God was providing for this small creature and how it added to the beauty of the scene. Our life should be lived in such a way that we bring joy to the people around us as we show how God provides for our every need and as we bring the beauty of God with us wherever we go.
I pray that you and I would live a life of worship in every setting of life we find ourselves in. I pray that we would value the times of worship we have with fellow believers. I pray that we would learn from the example of Mary as we live our life in Christ. I pray that we would look for the blessings that God wants to bring out of whatever situation we find ourselves in. I pray that we would not limit God to the thing we think are possible, but would believe all things are possible with Him. I pray that we would continually grow in our ability to see our part in God’s plan. I pray that we would share joy wherever we go as we represent Christ.