We are Each a Mary

We had our first "real" snow a few days ago and it's been snowy and pretty blustery since then, which has meant about six inches of snow and two times shoveling the driveway and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

And it's been a few weeks since many radio stations started playing Christmas music around the clock, and we listen now and then when we're curled up on the couch reading and such. Today I had the local Christian radio station blaring while I did some cleaning around the house and heard "Breath of Heaven":

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness
For You are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as You watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me
      ~ Amy Grant, "Breath of Heaven"

My ears always perk up when I hear this song: it holds a little special place in my heart because I danced to it it at a ballet recital years ago, but since then I have also come to appreciate the words and meaning.

So many times, the line "if a wiser one should have had my place" has popped into my head when things are hard or uncertain or I'm wondering what God is up to. I think of the questions and struggles I've had, and even more so the heartaches, trials, and sorrows others have faced and are even now going through, and there's always the question, "Why me?"

And this afternoon I heard "Breath of Heaven" yet again and was struck thinking that none of us are any different than Mary. Albeit she was uniquely special in a once-in-forever way to be chosen as Jesus' earthly mother, we each are likewise chosen by God to live the circumstances, the hardships, the moonless nights, the joys, the whole of our lives.

Holy Father, You have come and chosen me now . . .

It's not fate that brought about our existence, and it's not fate that directs our existence—God gives us life and He gives us the days we live. Evil is not from Him, but the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-loving and all-good God knows what circumstances this broken world brings and whom He chooses to walk these paths. Whatever we go through, we have been hand-picked, and we will be handheld.

"For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’"
      ~ Isaiah 41:13

Wherever we are, whatever we face, whatever path we have been chosen to walk, though we wonder why it wasn't someone else and wonder that there wasn't a wiser one in our place, we do not have to walk this path alone. Because Mary walked her chosen path, cold and weary with a babe inside when she should have been planning her wedding, and Christ came to earth to be God with us. God is forever near us. And He will not just be with us, He will go before us. He will see us through because He's already seen it through.

"And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
      ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

And like Mary, we have a choice to be obedient, to walk as the ones chosen, entrusted, for the lives God gives us, and walk by faith. We may have low valleys that seem impossible and we may wonder "why?" and wonder "why me?" but will we walk? Mary did, and God became flesh and dwelt among us. And if we walk, if we yield to God's will and what He has chosen us to live? God can do extraordinary, supernatural things in and through our lives, too.

I offer all I am, for the mercy of Your plan.

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