Troubled to Treasured
By Jolee Paden
“The angel went to her [Mary] and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’” -- Luke 1:28
In the finals of the 4x800 meter relay at the Illinois State Track Meet, it was a tight race. We knew to contend for a top three spot, we would have to be nearly 200 meters in front of one certain team before the final hand-off. Their last runner ran 20 seconds faster than any girl on our team. Sure enough, this team started the last leg in 9th place, but by the final 200 meters, they pulled into first. The coach had no doubt in his mind who he would trust to carry the baton for their final 800 meters.
Do you have people like that on your team? The athlete that always seems to finish well on the track, in the pool, on the court, or field? The one you can trust with the final shot as the clock is winding down? The one you can trust with the last at-bat to hit one over the fence?
No athlete wakes up and decides that they will be able to accomplish these tasks. On their own time, they cultivate a rhythm of discipline and excellence. In practice, the coach begins to perceive their dedication and effort. Over time, a coach begins to trust certain athletes with more responsibility. A coach perceives these things and challenges the athlete accordingly.
Mary didn’t wake up and decide to be obedient to God’s call on her life. God saw her heart and faithfulness for many years, and He chose her to be the mother of the King of all Kings, Jesus. God trusted Mary enough to entrust His Son to her.
I love the fact that God didn’t choose Mary because she was perfect. God chose Mary because she was faithful. Her faithfulness manifested in God’s favor. This favor gave her an opportunity to be obedient.
Her response started out with fear. Luke 1:29 says, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” Day by day, she walked faithfully with the Lord as she carried the Son of God. By the time Jesus was born, Mary was still receiving overwhelming news about the reality of her Son’s future. Yet, her posture shifted in responding to the news as she treasured these truths in her heart (Luke 2:19).
The way we move from troubled to treasured comes by living close to Jesus and trusting the heart of the Father. Day by day, we must commit ourselves to faithfulness. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we live radical and obedient lives. Out of this lifestyle, God will call you into more responsibility and you will be equipped to respond.
- Are you someone that is trusted on your team?
- What has God entrusted you to be faithful with?
- What does faithfulness look like as you walk with the Lord, participate with your team, and come under the leadership of your coach?
Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 25:23
“Father God, build my endurance to walk faithfully with You today. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear where You have given me opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Help me to walk with You in obedience. Where there is trouble in my heart, transform it into a place of treasuring time with You.”