A Time for Mary

I have a beautiful, hand painted clock in my home that I bought about five years ago. I saw it in the window of a clock store. Have you ever seen something and the second you lay your eyes on it, you knew it was you? That’s how I felt when I saw this clock.  I love clocks, watches, and timepieces anyway. This clock is an upright standing floor clock. It has interesting curves to it’s frame and beautiful hand painting on the surface with a two tone finish…beautiful. I peeked at the price tag through the store window and knew I couldn’t afford this clock. It would cost more than I thought I could afford or had the money for. So, instead of giving up on the idea, I stood right there and said in my heart a little prayer. I asked God, should He desire I have this clock that was so my style and my personality, then could He please make a way for me to get it and that no one else would buy it.”

Sometime later, maybe that day or that week (I do not recall) through a Word of Knowledge, the Holy Spirit instructed me that, indeed, I prayed well and I would receive that clock so I should believe. I continued to hear that not only would I get this clock,  I would have the money to purchase it, but I would pay much less than what the sticker price said. Then, I received a monetary denomination in my heart and mind. This clock was very expensive, but I was told I would get the clock for much MUCH LESS. I had an exact dollar amount in my head. I had no idea how I would even have that much money in the near future to spend on a clock, but I received it and believed it.

Within a month my husband was going with me to the clock store to purchase my clock. It was still there. No one had purchased or inquired about it. The store was relocating and the price of the clock had been reduced three times over the course of only a few weeks. The sale price now…exactly the amount I had been given in prayer. John and I had some business blessing over those short weeks that I did not anticipate, thus providing the finance to spend on a clock. Even the Store Owner was surprised the clock hadn’t gone yet, especially with such a reduced price. It is a great clock.

This clock has a piece of my heart because of the story behind it, but when I got it home I discovered something about this clock I hadn’t known prior that made me love it all the more. This clock chimes, and when it chimes it plays “Ava Maria”. That pierces me. Do you want to know why? Because… though I believe Mary to be flesh and blood and not of Deity, I have deep regard for her level of obedience to the Lord. I had been studying her obedience in the Bible and in prayer. God took me on an in depth study of her pure obedience to God.  Shorty after I had done so much study of her (all on my own, no formal Bible study…just me and the Holy Spirit), I received this clock. God’s beautiful and poetic symbolism and timing.

Just as I love timepieces, I also know and understand the value of time. Time is a precious commodity and once spent, can never be earned back. Mary gave God the gift of her obedience and her time. How might her life have been if she didn’t obey? God knew her heart ahead of time and He knew what she would say to His request, but still, what if? God would’ve found another to carry out His plan and she would’ve had a radically different life. She would’ve stayed in her hometown and probably still married Joseph, but her world would not have been so radically altered. She would’ve been comfortable and her life would’ve been fairly predictable. Instead, she gave it all to God for His Glory. (Luke 1:26-38)

Many people marvel at the obedience of Mary and say things like, “Oh, if I could obey as she did…” but they leave it at that. My thoughts are analytical in nature and I drift to other places of depth and probing with questions I may never know the answer to.  One such question is, “Did God use Mary’s circumstance to not only do the obvious, bring the Messiah to Earth, but was she used as a form of sifting of the religious people?” Think about it. The Bible says that the eyes of the Lord roam to and fro through out the earth and he separates the wheat from the chaff (2 Chron. 16:9, Luke 3:17). God is a Great Economizer, He usually accomplishes more than one task with every action He makes. Most everyone, to our knowledge, in Mary and Joseph’s hometown decided Mary is bad and they want to stone her. If it weren’t for revelation of God, Joseph would have thrown the first stone, but he didn’t. He heard the angel and he received the Word of Knowledge from God and he helped Mary. While Mary was pregnant she went to stay with her cousin Elisabeth, whose spirit and baby leapt with Joy at the arrival of the young girl who was pregnant, but maybe not “showing” yet. Elisabeth was full of happiness and prophesied over Mary. (Luke 1:39-45)

So, why did some receive Mary and others didn’t? Were there others not mentioned in any Bible stories that knew Mary was a vessel being used of God, but maybe they caved to peer pressure? Or maybe they kept it in their heart, but never spoke out for Mary? Just because the Bible story doesn’t go into these details, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or did.

Ultimately, it is a story that blesses my heart. Mary, a young girl who was probably a little bit naïve to the magnitude, breadth and depth that this journey would change her life, stepped out with willing faith to be used of God to fulfill and magnificent purpose. A purpose less about being pregnant and more about giving Life to the Way, the Truth and the Life. She truly gave it all for a call that came with no accolades or fame, but had a destiny to change the world. No high praise or exaltation, yet remains, to this day, to be the most glorious act of obedience to God outside of the her baby growing up to sacrifice His Life as a Lamb unrecognized by the world for who he was. King Jesus…the Savior of the World.

Someone told me once that my greatest Christian strength was my obedience. That is a strong and very humbling statement.  So when I implore others to Trust God and obey the call of Destiny He has for them, I am asking as one who does the same. All I know is that I am crazy in love with a God who reached down from Heaven and touched me, changed me and fills a void in my heart that nothing or no one on earth has ever been able to touch. For that, I am loyal to Him no matter what my obedience may bring me to.

So, every time I hear my little clock chime, it is like a moment with the Love of My Life, reminding me of how much He loves me and cares for the intimate details of my life.

He loves you like that, too.

Merry Christmas, 2013.

Never lose Hope in a God who does everything so completely different than we could ever dream or imagine.

He loves like none other.

His methods are like none other.

He protects like none other.

He provides like none other.

And He is so in love with you…take the time to notice Him.

He reveals Himself in strange ways, so think twice, when He sends a person or a situation like “Mary” your way…you may be entertaining angels.