During the lightning raids over England during World War 2, many families were used to hearing the bomb sirens and escaping to bomb shelters often underneath or near their homes. During such a raid one night, an English family scattered from their home just as it had been hit by a bomb. Spying a shell hole in the front yard, the father jumped into it for safety. He then turned and held his hands out to his young son and told him to jump into the hole. Afraid, the boy replied, “It’s too dark. I can’t see you!” Looking up and seeing the outline of his son by the burning building behind him, the father said, “But I can see you. Jump and I will catch you.” The boy trusted his father, jumped, and was caught as his father had promised.
Throughout our Christian lives, we’ll face many situations like the one described above. The bombs of trials or difficulties will rain down on us and we’ll be faced to make a decision-trust our heavenly Father and follow His guidance or seek our own shelter.
Mary wasn’t prepared for what she experienced the day Gabriel proclaimed Christ’s birth through her. As the Bible records, “And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” She wasn’t sure what was happening and was troubled by the angel’s words. She even questioned the viability of the proposal, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”
Mary stood at the edge of a new experience and she was faced with a choice-trust God’s plan and follow Him or follow her own life path. Thankfully, Mary answered Gabriel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
During trials you’re faced with the decision of faith. During loss you’re faced with the decision of faith. During good times and bad, you’re faced with the decision of faith. Every day you’re faced with that decision. Will you, like Mary and the little boy, trust your heavenly Father and jump into His arms, embracing His plan for your life or will you follow your own path?
Mary could have easily justified remaining a simple Jewish girl, choosing a life of mediocrity over God’s plan. She could have chosen to pass that blessing on to someone else, thinking of her own struggles and pains she’d face. Yet she abandoned all pretenses and chose to trust God.
Faith is grown as it’s practiced. Today you have a chance to grow your faith, but you must make the right decision. Will you follow God’s will or your own? (By Dr. Paul Chappell)