The spirit of Christmas is one that I anticipate all year. Christmas seems to welcome a break from the daily grind of the other eleven months. Just a few nights ago, my family and I rode through our neighborhood looking at all the Christmas lights and singing Christmas songs as loud as we could. I paused to drink in the joy that was filling the vehicle. My mind wandered to the song "Away in a Manger," and my thoughts were consumed with thoughts of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She, although ordinary, was used to execute the impossible.
The Bible tells us in Luke 1:45, "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a completion to those things which were told her by the Lord."
No doubt Mary was blessed, not only in carrying the Christ child, but also as an example that those that believe the word of the Lord are held in high regard. As I was reading the Christmas story again this year, my eyes stopped at Luke 1:35, "The angel answered her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.'"
As I pondered on how Jesus' conception was a work of the Holy Spirit of God, I remembered the work the Holy Spirit conceived in me. I look to Mary as example to me as what God can do with one that says, "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be unto me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). Mary serves as an example for many reasons, but one is overlooked season after season. She is an example to me and every Christian of what will happen when they surrender to the word of the Lord.
The night I almost ended my life with suicide, I heard God's voice speak to my mind with the words, "Remember Me?" That voice jogged the memory of the things I had learned as a child in my home church. Lying there in a pool of mistakes and hopelessness and in my humanness, He chose me. Somehow, He saw an opportunity to use me.
Those words drew me from my bed at 3 a.m. in the morning to a room across the hall. No one was around. No church. No music. But the presence of God filled the room because He had a plan for me.
I saw a Bible across the room, and for the first time, I picked it up with the expectancy that God would speak to me and my situation. I opened it, and it felt as if all heaven paused as my eyes met the promise I desperately needed. My eyes landed on the verse in Psalm 91:16, "With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation."
I dropped to the ground under the powerful Word of truth and hope that was delivered in a fresh way to my soul—when just a few minutes earlier it seemed suicide was my only option. Heaven exhaled as I proclaimed my full allegiance to God and offered a prayer similar to Mary's, "May it be done to me according to your Word."
In that moment, the Holy Spirit came upon me and conceived in me a relationship with God that will never end. As I read the Christmas story and am blessed by Mary's willingness to fulfill what God was asking of her, I see Mary in me. When the Holy Spirit conceived in my heart, so did the promise I would be used by God. Because of the Holy Spirit I have the power of God at work in me to achieve His purpose for me.
Do you see Mary in yourself? She is not a far-off figure that is to be worshipped, rather she represents the believer who, after the Holy Spirit has come upon them, is willing to be used to do the will of God.
Our God's desire is to conceive His work in us, and when our attitude is "Let it be according to your Word," God does the impossible.
"For with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37).
Autumn Miles is author of Appointed, in which she shares her story of escaping an abusive marriage. She is also the founder and CEO of The Blush Network, a women's conference ministry dedicated to spiritually challenging the way women think. For more information, visit autumnmiles.com.
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