An Advent Prayer: When Things Seem Impossible

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     ”How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:34-38 (NIV)

Dear heavenly Father, the one thing I share in common with Mary is incredulity over the mind-boggling, heart-encouraging promises you have made in connection with the birth of Jesus. I too say, “How will this be?” And I hear you answer back, from the Scriptures and the history of redemption, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Everything you’ve promised, with regard to Jesus, will come to pass. Including the redeeming Jesus’ bride from every nation, tribe, people, and language; and the renewal of this broken world into the new heaven and new earth. But (hallelujah) it also includes your plans for each of your children. Just as surely as you placed the life of Jesus in Mary, you have done the same for us. Though in an entirely different way than Mary, we too are “pregnant with glory” (Rom. 8:18-27).

One Day I will love perfectly, with the kindness and compassion of Jesus. I will only think and see with the wisdom and eyes of heaven. I will fully embrace the will of God as my favorite bread and utter delight.

One Day I will never be selfish, petty, or defensive again. I will never get my feelings hurt, insist on being right, or demand more. I will think of others more highly and more often than myself. I won’t keep a record of anybody’s wrongs, and will only, and forever, be an encourager. I will be free, so very free and whole.

To all of these promises I find myself saying, “How will this be, since I’m still so very much not like Jesus?” And you answer back so grace-fully, “Things impossible with man are possible with God.” To which I say and pray, “May it be as you have promised in the gospel, holy and faithful Father. I am yours and your servant.” So very Amen I pray in Jesus’ exalted name.

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