“Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20
Despite all the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, between purchasing gifts, baking cookies, and decorating the house, I’ve been quite contemplative lately.
As I set out the crèche I sat Indian-style on the floor thinking about Mary as the popular song “Mary Did You Know?” rang through the house. When I read of the angel of the Lord appearing to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to Jesus, I imagine Mary as a doe-eyed, naïve, winsome young girl.
That also somewhat describes me when I was pregnant with my eldest son. I was naïve and really had no idea how the very act of becoming a mother would change my world for the better. But I was filled with an expectant joy.
Immediately after giving birth to my first child, I revelled in complete awe. I had no words to describe the utter amazement I experienced having just given life to a precious baby boy. I had never known such overwhelming love. No other experience in my life, before or after, could compare to that.
I couldn’t understand how anyone couldn’t believe in God, especially after giving birth to a baby! I wonder if Mary experienced the same kind of awe and wonder after she gave birth to Jesus?
Later we see Mary at the wedding in Cana, when she turned to Jesus to perform a miracle when the wedding hosts were out of wine. Here Mary strikes me as more mature. Although Jesus had not yet performed any miracles, she clearly had faith and believed he could or she wouldn’t have suggested he help.
Mary strikes me as one who had an expectant heart-she knew an angel had appeared to her; she knew that she was to be used to produce a virgin-birth; she knew she was giving birth not just to a son, but to The Son of God. Mary also knew that her son came to perform miracles and draw others to His Father. At the wedding, she expected Him to perform a miracle-His first miracle-not because she had ever seen him perform miracles, but because she expected he could as the Son of God.
Hopefully I’m more mature now too – now that I have a teen and pre-teen at home, and have a few gray hairs to reflect a bit of increased wisdom or at least experience. But if I’m being honest, I’ve allowed my awe and wonder to dull a bit over the years.
Rarely do I look at my children now with the same awe and amazement as I did right after they were born. A few years after my eldest was born, my husband was diagnosed with a very rare form of abdominal cancer, and his prognosis was grim. By the doctors’ accounts, he should not be with us today. He underwent a horrific surgery, and month after month of grueling chemotherapy. We prayed for God to heal him, and God performed a miracle!
That was over a decade ago. I stood in amazement of what God did for us, just as I was in awe of giving birth to another human being.
But if I’m honest, I often don’t act like I serve a God who has performed miracles in my life. I limit God in my thinking and my way of doing things, often not maintaining an expectant heart. Yet Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God will do more than we dare to think or imagine.
This Christmas, as I reflect on Mary and her expectant heart, I also reflect on the awesomeness of our God. Before we were ever born, He gave His perfect son to be born to a virgin to draw the world to Him. As if that wasn’t already the most amazing gift, He gave us His son, willfully allowing him to die so that we could have a relationship with Him during our life on this earth, and eternal life with Him forever in heaven. He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. He is always the same; He never changes. He provided for us thousands of years ago, we can expect that He will still do so today.
As you prepare for Christmas, my prayer for you is that you, like Mary, will have an expectant heart, and that the God of all creation will do more in your life than you could ever think or imagine.
This. So much this.
“But if I’m honest, I often don’t act like I serve a God who has performed miracles in my life. I limit God in my thinking and my way of doing things, often not maintaining an expectant heart.”
I need more expectation and awe of God in my daily life. Thank you for the reminder.
Thanks Tracie for the encouragement. May God blow the lid off your expectations this season! Blessings to you.
What a lovely post! Thank you for this.
What I’m expecting…is a miracle, because we have a God of miracles. Certain people have been telling me to relax back into pain and debility, not quit trying so hard.
But God needs to work a big ‘un here, and I have to be big enough to catch it. Does that make sense?
I wish you the happiest of Christmases, Doc. You make the world a better place with your warm heart of compassion and encouragement.
Yours in Christ, yours in Hope,
Andrew, I’m believing and expecting for that miracle for you. 1 John 3 tells us that God desires for us to be in health and prosper just as our soul does. Believing that for you!
I am so so happy your husband is with you today. God still surprises me, but I have to be honest – it’s usually in the hardship that I come back to my awe over his amazing power. And although I beg for God to spare me from grief, I don’t mind hardship so very much, especially when it brings me so close to him.
aladyinfrance, I’m so glad you stopped by today! I would have to agree with you…it’s almost always in the hardship that I see God at work. If I’m honest, I don’t often enjoy the hardship at the time, but I’m thankful for how He uses the hardship for good and to bring us closer to Him through it. I’m glad you’ve seen that too. I hope you’ll stop by again.
I also remember the awe I had at becoming a mother. Not sure it is possible to put into words how that felt. 11 years later I am still occasionally in awe of it, but not as often as I used to be lol. I also love that you say you don’t act like you serve a God capable of miracles. All too often I think I must handle every situation myself and forget that really I just have to hand it over to God.
KC, I can relate! All too often I try “not to bother” God and handle things myself rather than remembering his plea that we cast ALL our burdens on Him. May this Christmas bring you renewed awe and wonder!
Beautiful! I am working on developing an expectant heart because I have been warned that if I don’t pray expecting God to act then my prayers are dead. Sometimes its hard when you are going through a trial.
Yes, Mary, it can be hard when we are going through a trial. But what I’m coming to appreciate is that we can either expect God to win or we can expect the enemy to win. We cannot expect both and both are not truth. The only truth is that God says we are already victorious in Christ Jesus, we are more than overcomers, Our God shall supply all our needs, and His mercies are new every morning!! Believing with an expectant heart with you this morning!
Thanks for the inspiring article. I am expecting a new me, a healthy growing business as I increase my faith.
I’m believing that for you too Merettig! Especially increased faith!
This is a good reminder of where our focus should be. I head down the wrong path though at times and start waiting expectantly for things I want rather than expectantly waiting for His will. I have also heard recently what Mary added- that if we pray without expecting God to act, He won’t. I struggle with this so I have an open heart going into the new year that I expect God to continue to shape and mold into a more unyieldingly trusting heart. God bless!
A more unyieldingly trusting heart – now that’s the kind of prayer God loves to answer! I’m expecting that for you too!!
this was a beautiful reminder.. Thank you for sharing this!