I became a mom this past year just before the holidays and if I’m being honest, this is the most I have ever doubted myself and been tempted to believe the thought in my head, ‘I can’t do this.’ I could blame so many variables for feeling completely helpless; there is a lot going on, crazy hormones, lack of sleep etc., but the thing that gets to me the most is the uncertainty of every day. Not knowing the answers when the little one is upset, or not knowing when I’m going to get anything else on my to-do list done, let alone take a shower, is stretching me beyond my capacity. Unwittingly, the ‘I can’t do this’ moments make it hard to believe that God’s favor is on my life.
If there was anyone who “had the right” to doubt God’s favor in the midst of their unpredictable circumstances, it would have been Mary, the mother of Jesus. The example that she is to us as a woman of steadfast faith and obedience is incredibly humbling… It hardly seems like favor when you are carrying THE Messiah, but you can’t even find proper lodging or a clean place to give birth! If I were to put myself in her shoes, it would have been easy to get upset with God. I wonder if she felt at least a bit discouraged that the reality of her situation wasn’t measuring up to her expectations. Despite her circumstances, Mary remained steadfast and faithful to her call because she understood that God-favor is for Kingdom purpose, not for self-gain. Even when favor looked like giving birth in the manger, Mary stayed the course – her obedience was not to the promise, but to the One who promised. She resolved in her heart earlier on to surrender her will to God’s when she responded to the Angel Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38 (NIV)
More often than not, the journey to God’s promise is rocky, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, and the challenges we face along the way can make us feel like God’s favor is far-fetched. When we start having doubts about God’s plan for our lives, our minds rush to pursue our own agenda. But just as it is reflected in Mary’s journey, God-favor can look like one closed door after another until it leads to the right one. It can also look like God’s grace meeting us right in our ‘I can’t do this’ moments.
If you find yourself in a season where you don’t perceive the God’s favor working in your life, I want to remind you that you are not alone! And know that it may look different than what you imagined, but rest assured, He is always at work even when you don’t see it in the natural! As we prepare our hearts for Devoted, my prayer is that we become followers of Jesus who are willing to journey through the uncertainty of our lives, and surrender our own agenda to His!