34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:34-38)
Mary’s questioning might seem, in some cases, to go against a view of what we can and can’t say to God, out of obedience. It is the view of some that we must say ‘yes’ to God, in all circumstances, without fear, without questioning, and without delay. I’m very glad that we have clear examples, throughout the Bible, that debunk this viewpoint. In fact, I’m slightly disappointed that she doesn’t question more (or at least no more questions are recorded!).
It seems to me that it is a common part of human experience to challenge, wrestle, and question God. It’s healthy and allowed! He is happy for us to ask questions. He’s happy to wait for us to come to our own decision. He’s happy for us to express our emotions, doubts, and questions to Him because He wants a relationship with us. He won’t punish us for it, or be miffed that we’re not just getting on with it.
Once Mary was satisfied, she said ‘yes’. She might have said it timidly, or she might have been rather more enthusiastic.
However long it takes and at whatever level you can, is there something that you can say ‘yes’ to?
This is part 3 of 24 daily reflections in the lead up to Christmas 2017.
Free to copy for non-commercial uses, please acknowledge author as H. Kirk