Here’s a conversation or internal narrative we’ve all had at one time or another:
“I honestly start the day with a positive attitude and it just seems like there’s always something that comes against me; something goes wrong, then something else. I really try but I just get so tired of it. I find myself huffing and murmuring, ‘Like I need this today!'”
We feel this. We resonate with the weariness. So, what do we say to someone or ourselves when things come at us at just the wrong time?
Mary’s Imperfect Timing
We all know the story, Luke 2:6, “And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son.” This is the Christmas story and Mary is found faithfully, inconspicuously giving birth in what could only be seen humanly as imperfect timing.
Remember, Mary and Joseph aren’t married yet. To have a child in this way is really inconvenient. God could’ve waited a little longer, maybe until she was married and the stigma of unwed motherhood wouldn’t be present. It’s not the way Mary would’ve preferred it.
They have a big trip forced upon them. The government is pressing down on them. Is this the best time to bring kids into a world like this?
Yet, apparently, this is perfect timing.
The Apostle Paul would write in Galatians 4:4-5, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
God was moving heaven, earth, and the entire Roman Empire for this perfect moment. The time had come and Mary was called to serve God’s perfect plan in what seems to Mary, imperfect timing.
Mary’s Perfect Peace
How does Mary pursue perfect peace? We can almost hear her say, “I don’t feel ready but I am willing. If God is for me, I’m in!”
How does Mary have this perfect peace? It’s because of her perspective. She’s not focused on what she has to accomplish on her own. She has perfect peace because she recognizes and celebrates God’s work in her life.
Recognizing and celebrating God’s work in our past motivates us to find peace in the imperfect present.
We can see Mary’s heart in Luke 1:47-50. Mary “beholds” God. She focuses on Him. Mary has a positive outlook on God’s work in her life. Most of our “emergencies” of today will be forgotten within a year. The reason for her peace is God’s work and God’s character. She is in awe of a Holy God and sees He is personally at work in her life. God has sent her Perfect Savior, Jesus Christ!
Here’s how it might look if you make notes in your Bible:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold (look, pay attention), from now on all generations will call me blessed (peace about the future); for (reason for peace) he who is mighty has done great things (God’s works) for me (ownership), and holy is his name (sense of awe). And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation (God’s character).”
Mary reminds herself, “God’s been doing so much in and around me. I know it’s easy to get distracted, but Mary, don’t forget what God promised and what God accomplished for you. Even though this seems like imperfect timing in my life, this is perfect timing in God’s plan. I don’t feel ready but I am willing. If God is for me, I’m in!”
Your Perfect Peace
When things get overwhelming, look back at how God has cared for you in the past.
Are you a Christian? That’s because God has shown his strength toward you. He’s saved you. He’s humbled you and revealed your need for Him.
God has filled you with joy, peace, and calm at times in the past. He will do it again. He has delivered you from some pretty dangerous enemies, habits, and thoughts. He will do it again.
Remember these truths. Celebrate these truths. Zoom out and see the big picture. God has been there the whole time. It’s easy to get distracted.
You can find perfect peace in our Perfect Savior. And, like Mary, you can take a deep breath, speak truth to yourself and say, “I don’t feel ready but I am willing. If God is for me, I’m in!”