I was at my grandson's home yesterday. We baked and decorated cookies. I think this is one of the fattest snowmen I have ever seen! :) He did great decorating them, I had to help some with the sprinkling of the colored sugar, he would have dumped the whole bottle on the first cookie. I can't think of a better way to begin the month of December.
Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 6:25-33; 7:21, 24-27
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life."
Is this really possible?
"There is unbelieving anxiety, and then there is anxiety encountered by faith. John Henry Newman said of Christian faith, "Ten thousand difficulties do not add up to doubt." We may have great difficulties in understanding how God will keep his promises, but we do not doubt that he will keep his promises.
To be anxious is human. The question is what we do with our anxieties. The decision is between hanging on to them or handing them over. After listening to the angel, Mary handed over herself, including her anxieties. "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." That is Mary's great fiat - "Let it be." It is not fatalism, but faith. Fatalism is resigning ourselves to the inevitable; faith is entrusting ourselves to the One who is eternally trustworthy, who is worthy of trust.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before he died, Jesus prayed: "Not my will but yours be done." He is not resigned to the Father's will, he embraces the Father's will. Accepting God's way is not a fall-back position for when we can't get our way.
"Let it be to me according to your word." Faith is not blind faith, but trust with eyes wide open. Faith does not deny the reason for anxiety but rejects the rule of anxiety.
In the "Our Father," Jesus teaches us to pray, "your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Slowly, and not without difficulty, we learn to prefer God's will to our own; we learn to want God's will to be done, knowing that he knows us and loves us immeasurable better than we know and love ourselves.
Forgive us, Heavenly Father, for living as though you do not know and do not care, as thought you are not our loving Father. As you did with Mary, who first received the good news of "Emmanuel, God with us," and handed over her troubled heart to you, so also give us such faith that the constant theme of our lives may be, "Lord, let it be to me according to your word." This we trustingly ask in the name of Jesus Christ, her Lord and ours.
Let it be.
from "God with Us"