I’m hearing the word “overwhelmed” a lot these days. It seems people are feeling this way over so many things:
- Fractured relationships over the vaccine issue
- News about Omicron and resulting uncertainties and restrictions
- Paying the bills
- Facing the first Christmas after losing a loved one
- The dread of spending Christmas with testy family members
- Caring for senior parents with failing health
- Parenting kids bent on learning the hard way
The list goes on, right? My area recently experienced historic floods. People whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the clean-up and rebuilding they face.
As Christmas approaches, I think about teenage Mary and the challenges she faced.
Imagine how she may have felt when the angel appeared and told her that she would conceive a child. (Luke 1:26-38) We can safely assume she felt overwhelmed at the thought of breaking the news to her parents and fiancé. She may have felt the same about being the brunt of neighborhood gossip for the rest of her life, of making an 80-mile trek to Bethlehem when nine months pregnant, of delivering a baby without the aid of her womenfolk, and of raising God’s Son.
Mary faced countless unknowns, and the weight of those unknowns may have seemed too much to bear sometimes. But Mary mustered her courage and moved forward not knowing the outcome. How so? By understanding the presence and power of God in her life.
When the angel appeared, he greeted her with the words, “The Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28) Choosing to believe this was true gave Mary the courage to say yes to a divine assignment bigger than any human’s comprehension. She wouldn’t have to navigate it alone; God would go with her and prepare the way.
The angel also said, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Perhaps, to Mary, everything about her future suddenly loomed with impossibilities. How could she become pregnant while still a virgin? How could she ever regain Joseph’s trust and respect? How could she escape the consequences of being found pregnant while betrothed to Joseph?
The angel’s reassurance that impossibilities were nothing for God spoke volumes to Mary. The sudden changes and challenges she faced may have felt overwhelming, but Mary believed that God’s power would carry her and deal with them.
And so – are you feeling overwhelmed today? If so, you are not alone. And you are not without hope.
God is with you, my friend. His presence will never leave your side. You don’t face your challenges alone, nor do you face them in your own strength. God’s power is at work in you and around you. He’s working behind-the-scenes in ways you cannot see.
May I pray for you? “Heavenly Father, You know exactly how we feel when circumstances loom large before us. You understand our fear, dread, grief, and pain because You took on human form and became one of us. Thank You for meeting our desperate need for Your presence and power in our lives. And thank You for bearing the weight of our concerns when they feel overwhelming. We choose to trust You and walk in these truths today. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
#bgbg2 #hope #findinghopeincrisis