I don't like this one bit.
|Me and my dad back in the day|
(From Warren's email)
Thru the Christmas season I’m doing some devotionals from the “YouVersion” Bible app on my iPhone. Today’s devo brought up the angel Gabriel calling Mary “favored.” I wonder if a physical representative from the realms of glory showed up in my room and told me that I was favored by God how I would react. The initial thoughts probably would be that my life had just turned comfortable, that everything was worked out, smooth-sailing. “Favored by God” would surely mean that He’s going to mow down my enemies, provide riches, and release all the stresses of life. But that is NOT what it meant for Mary. Very soon after she heard those words, her betrothed, Joseph, would consider divorce. Her community would ridicule and scorn. She would soon take a journey to Bethlehem that was dangerous. She would very much be concerned about the provisions for her family. She would be giving birth to whom she thought was the Savior of the world … in a stable. Physical worries, financial worries, relationship worries … none of that sounds like “favor.”
A lot of Christianity today focuses on the “favor” of God making it sound like a life of ease and comfort. However, in reality, following God does not mean a life that is trouble free and one where all your dreams come true. The mother of Jesus alone teaches us that. “Favor” means, very simply, that God is willing to use you, willing to speak through you, willing to work through you, willing to show Himself strong in you. And often, that happens most in difficult and trying situations. God’s favor meant that God had invaded Mary’s life. He was no longer a concept, an idea, a thought. He was no longer a story. He was no longer Someone high above and distant. He WAS near… active … personal … acting … guiding.
Deeper into the holiday season, my prayer is that we sense God’s favor on our lives, not a life where “all our dreams come true,” but a life fulfilled knowing that God is working on us, in us, and through us. “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:30
What comforting words today. Lord, I need Your favor.
I will keep you posted on my dad~ MG