Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting is now available! For the next few weeks I have invited the members of my “street team” to share their stories and reflections on the book, the topic of waiting, and Advent. (This post contains affiliate links.)
“Pick me, pick me, Lord!” I’ve been raising my hand like a child, hungry for God’s attentive affection my whole life. What can I do for you to make a difference? Missionary? Language interpreter? Teacher? Ambassador? Roving photojournalist? Whatever! I asked him for the world quite literally. Global dreams and a young heart.
Then I fell in love.
Rather than backpacking with a load full of dirt and gospel-glory, he gave me a comfortable life in suburbia, a loving husband, and two exuberant, chatterbox children. This is my mostly predictable world. I love it, but some days, it’s hard for me to get out of bed and want it.
Ordinary is not going to do it for me today, Lord. Hey, remember that part about traveling around the world? But I get up, prompt the kids to slap sandwiches together for school, and kiss my husband’s cheek before work. I hate routine, I’m rather terrible at small talk, and I’m always planning an escape to a new state or country.
God has a way of taking the best-laid plans and radically challenging us to choose him, no matter what. That’s what Mary, the mother of Jesus, did.
An angel upended her normal Nazareth youth with a message:
“Hey, girl, get this! You’re gonna give birth to the Son of God!” (My paraphrase.) Right in the middle of her love story to Joseph, she’s given a gift for which she didn’t ask, a weight she didn’t choose to bear, especially the part about having a bun in the oven pre-wedding.
Nevertheless, she says yes with the swiftest acceptance and faith of any girl in history. This is the promise-story she’s heard around the family fire her whole life. Many a Jewish girl probably begged God in the dark of night, “Pick me! Pick me!” Maybe even Mary.
Her faith astounds.
Months before she feels a baby kick within her belly or tiny pudgy hands wrap around her index finger, she falls in love, with Jesus.
Then she does what comes as naturally to her as drawing water from the village well. She writes a love song:
“My soul magnifies the Lord…For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:46-48)
This, her song-prayer, is the great Magnificat that has been sung in cathedrals for hundreds of years: a mysterious, intimate expression of the Holy Spirit creating life within a humble creature. For generation upon generation, our imaginations have been captivated by her innocent and complete trust. Maybe she was more ready than she knew or even felt because of God’s great act of choosing her.
Kris writes in Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, “Deeper than the want of something useful or decorative, somewhere in our hearts, resides the desire to be chosen by God for something special, something amazing.”
God hand-picked Mary to bear a miracle, and he lovingly chose us too.
We are adopted when we say yes to God, in initial faith and whatever ordinary task or great adventure he puts before us.
“God has already chosen and will continue to choose us, again and again,” Kris continues.
Let that sink in.
The God of the universe said yes to you and me by sending Jesus to live with us and within us. We don’t have to physically give birth to the Son of God to be picked. But spiritually, this is exactly what he does. God sends the Holy Spirit to do his kingdom work in our lives when we let him in like Mary did, ready or not.
I shouldn’t be asking, God, when will you pick me? His love has never wavered. His purpose for my life has never ceased.
Are you hungry to be chosen? You are. The crucial question is: do you choose God?
Mary fell in love with the God who was, and is, and is to come. She believed before fulfillment came in the form of even a baby pooch. His mercy remembered a nation and a girl, just as Jesus remembers you and me.
She continues later, “We don’t know what this choosing will mean for our lives, where this honor will take us, but we can accept the title, favored, and live faithfully into all that it entails.”
Choose God like Mary did, in faith and praise, no matter the wait or unseen outcome. My life looks different than I imagined. So did Mary’s. While she probably longed for an ordinary Jewish life: a husband, seven kids, and nice Sabbath picnics, she didn’t quite get the life she planned. She got the Son of God. He happens to be all the world we’ll ever need.
Father, we thank you for choosing us, like Mary. May our lives be a song-prayer lived in true worship, a Magnificat in the making, our love song to you.
Kris asks, “In what ways can you see how God has chosen you?” What is one small way you can choose him back?
Guest Post By
Christina Hubbard is a poet who writes memoir. Her work has appeared at (in)courage and she recently hosted #write31days of Five Minute Free Writes. A wife and mom to two squirrelly kids, Christina dreams big, writes small, and believes words can change the world. She digs her fancy routine-inducing planner (when she remembers to look at it), and once she sang the Magnificat in a cathedral. Find her at CreativeandFree.com.