2nd Week of Advent
Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38
In today’s Gospel reading, we see the archangel Gabriel bringing to Mary’s attention God’s specific will for her life, and we see Mary saying, “Yes, I accept. I yield. I surrender.” But what about us? Are we yielding to God’s specific will for our lives, or are we resisting and even rejecting it?
All of us have certain situations in our lives that, if it was up to us, we’d make go away. We don’t want those situations there. We want them to disappear. They’re making us unhappy. They’re stressing us out. They’re getting in the way of our enjoyment of life, and we just don’t want to deal with them anymore. Our lives would be perfect if it weren’t for that specific situation.
Some situations are in our lives, not because it’s God will that they be there, but because we’ve brought them upon ourselves. A man who has no money because he spends all of it gambling has no one but himself to blame for his poverty. Poverty didn’t come upon him because it was God’s will; it came as a result of a poor choice that the man made.
But what about those things that do come upon us because it is God’s will for the time being? A man can’t seem to get ahead in his job. A couple are trying to conceive, but can’t. A single person wants to move to such and such a city, but can’t seem to be able to escape the small hometown in which he has always lived.
When we find ourselves facing situations that we don’t want in our lives, it’s easy to feel trapped and imprisoned. We feel like we’re suffocating. We feel angry and frustrated because no matter how hard we try to break free from that situation, it’s chained to us; where we go, it follows. God has placed us in circumstances from which we can neither run nor escape, but we keep trying anyway, and we’re wearing ourselves out in the process.
The only way “out” of those situations is surrender, and this is the hardest thing because it demands that we die. It commands our will to be put to death in the sight of God in order that His will may be taken up and carried out.
What is it that God is asking you to surrender to at this season in your life? You don’t want the situation there, but for reasons that only eternity will reveal, He does. If you are resisting, how is this affecting you spiritually and physically? How is this affecting your joy and peace? (Many times, it is not the situation itself that is causing our misery as much as the way in which we respond and react to it).
If you have accepted this situation, and are yielding to God’s Spirit in the midst of it, what are you learning about His grace, His wisdom, and His love as He takes you through it? How is God using your situation to work out good in your life, draw you closer to Him, teach you things that you did not know before it entered your life, make you more fruitful in Him, and move you on to spiritual maturity?