How Can This Be?
by Peggy Fry
Needing to “undecorate” my Christmas tree this week, I said to myself, “How can this be?” It seemed like just a short time ago I was putting Tom Turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving.
My mind went back to the gifts, the cards, the wonderful time with family, and thinking about those we missed being with this year, and I thought of the greatest gift of all — JESUS Himself. I picked up my Bible and once again re-read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke, chapter 1:
• Verse 28: ”And [the angel] came to her and said, 'Hail, O favored one. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you.' ” That’s what He came for, that we might be blessed and favored. It’s called His grace, the sign of His high favor. Blessing is God’s unlimited goodness given to us in order to release His best for us.
• Verse 29: “But when she saw Him, she was disturbed and greatly troubled.” Isn’t that just like us? When we try to give things to Him, it can be so difficult — because we don’t know exactly what it will mean in our lives!
• Verse 30: “And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid.’ ” Fear is one of the basic causes of so many of the negative things that happen in our lives. Jane, Donna, Harold, or whatever your name is, you have found grace, favor and blessing with God!
• Verse 34: “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be?’ ” But God, do you realize how this will affect the rest of my life? My future hopes, my dreams, my plans, my goals, etc.? Besides, it may mean rejection: loss of reputation, even perhaps death! That’s right, our natural response to our flesh nature manifests itself in fear, anxiety and worry. But God says through the apostle Peter, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).
• Verse 35: “Then the angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud].' ” At one of the most difficult times in my life, I — like Mary — found myself saying, “How can this be happening?” The doctor told my husband I was literally dying of a broken heart. As people began praying for me, the Lord spoke into my spirit, “Nothing is impossible with me!” And no word from God shall be without power or impossible to fulfill.
• Verse 38: “Then Mary said, ‘Behold [meaning, “lay hold of it,” “grab onto it”], I am the handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to what you have said.' ” Here lies the key to a life of blessing, power, favor and success: It is a choice I make. Let it be done to me according to what YOU have said...not what I see...but what YOU see! God’s answer to fear, anxiety and worry is submission: not just giving up what we desire but giving it all over to Him for something better and greater!
• Verse 45: “And blessed is she who believed...” When we believe in the love of God, the presence of God, the possibilities with God, the favor of God, that same choice of faith releases the power of God into every circumstance of our lives, and we see Him in all His glory and splendor come into our difficult situations!
• Verse 46: “And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies and extols the Lord...’ ” You see, our soul is the human response to life in us — our personality — and is the sum total of our mind, our thought life, our will, our emotions, and the way we feel about life. When all these parts of us come together and we begin to magnify the Lord, realizing that He is bigger and greater than everything that we face in this life, we realize four important things…
1. We are favored by the Lord. He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
2. We don’t have to walk in fear of our past, our present or our future. In Him we have a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).
3. We have the power of the Most High living in us to fulfill His purpose for us (Rom. 8:11).
4. When we make that choice to let go and let God do as He chooses, He is able to lead us and guide us into His highest and best will for us (Romans 8:28).
Then our spirit can rejoice in God our Savior, our healer, our deliverer, our supplier, our strength, our help, the One who loves us unconditionally and always wills His highest good for us in this life and in the life to come.
And as we begin this coming year magnifying the Lord in all things in our souls — the very essence of who we are — we will realize that with God nothing is impossible. So as we close 2020, let’s press in to the lessons we have learned and then, with Mary, we can truly say, “My soul magnifies and my spirit rejoices in God!” He is truly Lord of all!
And one final thought as we enter into the new year : “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the heavenly prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 Amplified).