Ok I'll just fill you in on every day since I last updated a month ago... Not really. :) That'd be way too much.
Chapter 7: A Willing Spirit
Though humans have so many ways of messing things up (ie procrastination, cough cough- me), God chooses to use the most unlikely people in the most unusual ways to perform His most perfect will. But it all starts with one word: yes. I don't know why God chose Mary to carry His Son, but she sure had the willingness to say yes to God instead of questioning and resisting Him--to lay down her own dreams so that God's plans could prevail. Yes: that simple, 3-letter word (unless you say si or wi, of course) that we tend to so often contradict. For it's one thing to want God's will and quite another to do it. A willing spirit, like Mary had, is a heart and mind that says yes to God and a will and a body that sets that yes in motion. Saying yes is our simple job. We don't have to accomplish God's will- that responsibility belongs to Him alone. After we say yes, all we have to do is follow through, one request at a time.
Truth: saying yes to God brings blessing, but it can also bring pain. That's why we need a submitted heart that keeps on believing... even when it hurts. But remember: God is who He says He is and He can and will do what He says He will do. God knows what He's doing. When we can't trace His hand, we must trust His heart. God always sees the bigger picture-- after all, it is He who is the Creator, the Alpha, the Omega, the Great Shepherd, the Overseer, our Father. He will use whatever method is needed to make us more like his Son, even if it hurts and even if we struggle to understand, for He makes all things new.
Do you find yourself listing the reasons you can't rather than the ways He can? ...Yep... Resisting His love rather than resting in His arms? ...Guilty... Mary lived a life that proved that great and important things always begin with saying yes to God, and then moving along one yes at a time. When you keep in mind that your whole life is holy ground, you keep yourself open to the wonderful opportunities He has planned for you. God's overall intention is to continue to bless you just as He already has. Although saying yes to the Lord means you may not know exactly where you'll end up, you can always find your way home.
Ironically a friend of mine was watching Jim Carrey's "Yes Man" earlier tonight. Without reading too far into the movie, I think it could be a good minimal analogy. And although we're not hypnotized or under a spell or anything, we should say yes to God, even when we're fearful and doubtful. All resistances aside, "Here I am. Send me," (Isaiah 6:8).