“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ … and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘… Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’” (Luke 1:38.41-44).
I once heard a call to purpose. Not an audible voice or angelic appearance, but an urgent message which entered my thoughts and differed from anything my mind would conceive on its own.
The calling manifested itself without proof. I received no tangible assurances of success. In the moment, however, I felt sure the Lord had declared his destiny for my life.
As time stretched on, uncertainty daunted me. I often struggled to continue pursuing the call. When insecurity oppressed me, a nudge of encouragement rekindled my hope. Yet the insidious doubts remained ready to ambush me at the next turn.
My work has bourgeoned without any revenue or proven impact. This trying year has brought me once again to the question of futility. Am I carrying a promise? Or have I traveled this far to face an empty future?
Like every year, 2020 closes with the Christmas season. More than ever before, the message of advent and Messianic deliverance resonate with our current needs. Our empty hands reach in desperation for hope. No worldly claim offers what this ultimate story of promise delivers.
Mary’s angelic declaration of purpose left her without tangible proof. She suffered social rejection and faced the prospect of death by stoning. Her fiancé’s mercy nudged her back onto the promised path. She and Joseph still had a long, daunting journey ahead.
Yet, despite the hopeless circumstances, Mary showed no sign of doubting her call. She carried the Lord’s promise through opposition, homelessness, and darkness. The Lord’s servant persevered to birth hope incarnate into the world.
“Blessed is she who believes … “
My greatest wish this Christmas is to abandon my curse and receive his promise. I want to become filled with hope and bear the Lord’s word within me. May I persevere on the journey and believe like Mary.
I wonder if we all experience doubt about our purpose at times. Do you have a calling that remains unseen? What is your wish this Christmas? How might you commit to the path and believe in the invisible promise?