From the previous post, and those following, you know that we've been having an awfully tough last week or so. The news got worse yesterday when, after months and months of pursuit, a rather large supporter of ours decided he wasn't going to stay on our team anymore. It crushed me, particularly.
Melissa was gracious and awesome. She sensed my despair and we went for a walk. She allowed me to vent for a bit and just listened. During this walk, I also allowed the Lord to join us, and allowed my frustrations and burdens to be placed on Him. It was rather awesome. I will not say all stress and pain was alleviated on that walk, but it helped a bit. I love my wife, and I love Jesus. I love that we have a Savior that, according to Hebrews is "able to sympathize with us" because He was "tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin." Jesus knew what it was like to feel abandoned and even betrayed. He knew and embraced the cost of discipleship more than I could possibly hope to attain.
This verse hit me this morning. Luke 1:38. "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.'..." Pondering Mary has brought me great encouragement this morning. Mary said this following the Gabriel's announcement that she would be with child and He would be King Jesus. This made Mary's acknowledgement in v.38 rather huge. She would be totally ostracized for having been pregnant. She was not yet married! Obviously Joseph would have major objections! This was a heavy burden God was asking Mary to embrace.
It is easy to say, "I am the Lord's servant" when things are going splendidly; it is not at cost of mental, physcial, or emotional hardship. Mary knew her embrace of God's will was a costly one. This thought humbled me. Bart, you're embrace of God's call in your life is not an easy one. Following me is to embrace your cross.
Mary's humility following in her song floored me also. I'll discuss it tomorrow.
Thank you for your prayers. We will follow God no matter the cost.