When Theory Becomes Reality

Read Luke 1:26-38

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. – Luke 1:34-38


Born in a Manger Triptych | December 2017

Perhaps you have experienced a struggle similar to that which I and other sincere and dedicated Christians have encountered. You are asking for God’s favor, praying for relief from pain, yearning for a breakthrough in your marriage or seeking an emotional peace that only God can give. You know that God is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us (cf. Ephesians 3:20-21). But the heavens are silent. The illness continues. The marriage relationship is stuck in the stale dust of barren lovelessness. Anxiety reigns; there is no peace.

Mary’s question, “How will this be?” is replaced in the end by, “I am the Lord’s servant.” The assurance that, nothing will be impossible with God,” is a reminder by the angel of the power of God. Somehow, though, Mary’s conviction and confession is born of God’s word and specific promise. I suspect that Mary knew that God could do anything; nothing is impossible for him. 

Mary’s understanding of God’s power was becoming an experience of God’s work in her life. This is no longer theory: she is the subject of God’s work. He is at work in her and through her.

We may have urgent desires, fervent prayers, and dire needs that we present before God. The answer of God to his people will ultimately come for their good. As we wait for that answer it is well that we echo Mary’s confession, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” In that confession and and faithful conviction God’s power moves from theory to reality. 

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: