"'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said . . . My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .'" (Luke 1:38, 46-47)
Have you ever been given a task by God that you didn't want to do? I sure have! In fact, I'm not sure I've ever been given a task by God that I did want to do! In fact, it usually seems that God likes nothing better than to kick me out of my "comfort zone"! Yet when I think of the little tasks God has asked of me, they are nothing compared to the great things He's asked of so many others! Remember Joshua? He had to get all of those complaining Israelites to march -- silently -- around Jericho -- 13 times!!!! And Gideon? Now he had an impossible task! Poor Gideon was a farmer. Not a fighter! But he was called to assemble an army and go fight the Mideonites. Not only was the army he pulled together far to small to deliver Israel, but then God went and told him to send most of them home!!!! I would say that Gideon was DEFINITELY kicked out of his comfort zone!!!!
And here, neatly tucked into the first chapter of Luke, we find yet another little story: "In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon 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." (Luke 1:26-36)
Talk about being kicked out of your comfort zone! Try to imagine yourself in Mary's place! Your future is certain. You are soon to be married, and your days are filled with beautiful dreams of your wedding, the life you will soon have with your new husband, you know, all those things that new brides dream of! Then the Angel Gabriel "appears" and ruins everything! Now, it may be kind of hard to understand Mary's distress, for in our day and age where promiscuity has become some commonplace, we hardly even blink when an unwed woman is with child. But things were different in Mary's day! This kind of thing just didn't happen to decent girls! It was, as a matter of fact, so shocking was it that her fiancé wanted to put her away in secret to keep her from "Public Disgrace" (Matt. 1:19) and Mary herself "got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea" where she "stayed with Elizabeth for about three months" (Luke 1:39,56)! One moment she is happily planning her future, the next moment, she is about to lose her fiancé, fleeing for the hills of Judea! But how does she respond to God: "I am the Lord's servant . . . May it be to me as you have said . . . My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . ." (Luke 1:38, 46-47).
What if Mary had responded like we so often do? "Uh . . . I -- don't -- think so. The time just isn't right! I'm about to be married! Joseph wouldn't understand. I really don't think I'd do such a good job anyway. You really must have the wrong person! I'm sure that Sally next door would do a MUCH better job!" But if Mary had responded like we do, she would have missed out on the blessing of her life!
Yet how often are we willing to pass up the blessings of our lives because the task God asks us to do kicks us out of our "comfort zone"?
Lord, may I be more like Mary! Whatever the task that you give me to do, may my willing response be: "I am the Lord's servant . . . May it be to me as you have said . . . My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:38, 46, 47). Lord, I know that in Your wisdom, kicking me out of my comfort zone is usually just exactly what I need to enter into the realm of blessings that You have in store for me!