Luke 1&2, John 2, Matthew 1
The Christmas story shows us that God uses people who are overwhelmed by His plans. He is unstopped by overwhelm.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, was overwhelmed by God’s message that she, a virgin, would bear His son. All that she knew of herself and her world was shaken. These things couldn’t be. But, she believed in God. So, He guided her through overwhelm to change her world.
Mary intensely experienced God and learned that He could use her only if she remained submissive to Him. Through the angels announcement, her virgin conception, Joseph’s acceptance, Elizabeth’s greeting, the shepherd’s story, Simeon’s blessing, Anna’s attention, and Jesus’ youthful disappearance God helped her embrace His plans.
“Overwhelm” describes experiencing something that overpowers one’s thoughts, emotions, or senses. It’s the gap between human capacity and divine activity. People react to overwhelm differently: intellectually, physically, or emotionally. Mary reacted intellectually and learned that she needn’t make sense of God’s will to obey it.
Ultimately, Mary embraced God’s work in her life. At a wedding in Cana, she pushed others into an experience that would affect them like hers had affected her. She had learned that she could grow in her faith by continually examining God’s activity.
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