read Luke 1. If you think you’ve heard the Christmas story a thousand times, and can’t stand hearing it again, there’s a solution. Ask God to show you what the first chapter of Luke, for instance, means for you. God is not afraid of your challenge. God made your ears to resonate to the sound of His heavenly music. If you ask Him to explain how every word in the Bible applies to you, He will make the verses ring with shouts of His love for you. God’s love is music that no power on earth can drown out.
What you discover is that the first chapter of Luke sings with a heavenly invitation. It proclaims that God sends a message to you as personal and loaded with promise as the one the angel Gabriel sends to Mary. “Greetings, favored woman. The Lord is with you.” He sends those words to you. The Lord is with you.
You are favored. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. God already knows all about it. God already paid the price on the cross for every wrong thing you’ve ever done. Stop looking backward. And if you, like John the Baptist’s father here, have the opposite problem and think you’re too good to need God – get over yourself. You’re not that good. God doesn’t compare you to other people – He compares you to His perfect and holy standard. You still want to tell Him how good you are? Gabriel’s message stands even though you’re not good. You are favored. And God is with you.
All you have to do is ask Jesus to enter you – and the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of God will overshadow you, just as it did the teenage Mary. If it sounds like a conception, well, that’s because it is. If it sounds like God does all the work, and you do nothing – that’s exactly what happens. I know being “overshadowed” sounds awful, but the overshadowing of God somehow fulfills rather than diminishes us. Jesus is the Prince whose kiss of love wakens us from our stupor.
If you doubt that, you don’t need to be afraid. God’s love steps in to help us when we need it. He will give us whatever we ask if it’s in His will – and He longs for us to believe. Nothing is impossible with God. The angel says these words to Mary, and God says them to each of us.
Elizabeth’s words to Mary can also be true for you: “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” v. 45. God’s mighty arm will do tremendous things for you. If you are hungry, God will fill you with Himself. The morning light from heaven has broken upon us. The prophecies of Isaiah have come true in Christ: Jesus came to give light to all those who are sick and tired of sitting in darkness.
So if you want a beautiful life, ask the living God. Ask Him to fill you with the faith and joy and peace and fulfillment you lack. If you need to, shake your fist at heaven. Go ahead. Before you know it, you will find your fist uncurling. You will find yourself standing with your open hands outstretched looking up into all the glories and light of the heavens, weeping, begging God to fill you with the love you’ve always wanted, and always sensed existed, and never known how to find – until you asked.
And if you’re still feeling like a dried out river, or a burned up forest, listen to the song with those lyrics. And pray – even if you feel like you have the language skills of a child when it comes to talking to God. Because when you’re in the worst place you can imagine, you’re really in the best. You can finally discover how dependent on Him you are, and trust Him to take care of you. That’s when there is finally room in the inn of your heart for Him to start doing miraculous things, even opening your ears to hear His voice. Today.
posted by Caroline Coleman in carolinecolemanbooks.com on December 23, 2011
photo is of the Molycorp mine, taken on a media tour this fall for my article on rare earths in WORLD magazine