What is your response in uncertain times?
This entire Christmas season, the hope and joy of the birth of our Savior - all started with a response. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and told her of this huge, unbelievable, awe-inspiring, scary, overwhelming part she could play in the greatest story to ever be told - she responded with "I am the Lord's servant...may it be to me as you have said."
Without that response, would it not have happened? Well, likely. But the fact is that this young, inexperienced, small town woman stepped up and said yes to something that was entirely bigger than herself. She agreed to something she did not wholly understand. She couldn't fathom HOW it would happen or how it could happen. In fact, it was highly probably that she would be misunderstood and ostracized for it. Yet despite all of the unknowns and risks ---she said yes.
Too often our response is more like Zacharias. Rewind from verse 38 of Luke 1 to verse 8, where Zacharias basically says - you expect me to believe this? To which the angel silences him by making him mute.
The life God has for us to live is so much greater than anything we can imagine ourselves. There is something inside each of us that desires a great faith adventure, to witness God working in our lives, in our families, our cities and country.
But unfortunately, with our own doubt and negative words our great stories end before they had a chance to start. We give our own fears and insecurities greater weight than the promises of God.
Has he not said to us that he has plans to prosper and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future? Doesn't he tell us that he is the Lord, and he will go out before us, stay with us, not leave us or forsake us?
My God - who knew us before we were - says to us over and over in the scriptures: Do not fear. Don't be dismayed. Fear not! nor be afraid.
If you can't hold on to his promises - and his word is full of his promises for us - then at least follow this commandment. If you find fear has taken over you, if you feel dismayed because you thirst for something greater in your life, but you're drowning in doubt and insecurities, it's time to shut that fear down.
Nothing is impossible for God. That's a fact. Speak it. Go to the scriptures and his promises will reassure you - and give you new strength to go for it.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit. Romans 15:13.