Friday, December 22, 2017

Mary's Guide to Having a Very Merry Christmas

Imagine being a young, teenage virgin when an angel comes to you and announces that you will be pregnant. Not to mention, your engaged. What kind of thoughts would go through your head?

When we read through the story of Mary, we're not reading about some bitter, overly fearful teenage girl. No, Mary was filled with joy, trust and praise for God. But how did she do it?

As much as I love Christmas time, with my expectations set so high I always tend to be disappointed in some way. Whether it's not receiving the gift that I wanted, not finding the right gifts for other people. Or maybe even not having a boyfriend to enjoy the season with.

Unlike Mary, I can go from joyful to bitter in T minus ten seconds.

However, I don't want to have a blue Christmas this year. I want to experience the joy that Mary felt. Digging into her story, I found Mary's secret to having a joy-filled, cheery Christmas:

1. Trust God

When finding out that she would be pregnant, Mary had every reason to fear. She was engaged and could lose her fiance. The town could view her as an adulteress women. A lot could have went wrong. But Mary Chose to trust God. She even spoke her infamous words "behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to be according to your word." (Luke 1:38)

I don't know about you, but the holidays can sometimes make me forget to trust God. When i'm worrying about finding gifts, or having enough time to get everything done, I typically jump into worry mode. There is nothing that can steal the magical joy of the holiday season more than worrying about trivial things.

Mary had every reason to be scared and she probably was, but she didn't let her worries consume her. She trusted God and pressed on. This Christmas, let's be girls who focus less on what worries us and more on the magical gift of Christ.

2. Praise God

After her visit from the angel Gabriel, Mary begin a song of praise. She was just told she would have an unexpected pregnancy and instead of whining she began to worship.

I remember being sixteen and really wanting a new phone for Christmas. It was a popular phone that everyone had and I felt like a total loser for not having it. I made my wishes know to my parents and hoped that i'd get what I wanted.

On Christmas day, as I opened my gift, I saw new shoes instead. Let's just say I didn't exactly have a heart of worship. I was so disappointed that I had forgotten that my gift was a gift. I wasn't owed anything. Everything given to me should have been beyond my expectations.

Mary had a firm understanding of God's word. Instead of believing she deserved better, she humbled herself as a servant and God was able to use her for great things. This Christmas season, practice praising. Even when things aren't going right or your gifts aren't what you expected them to be, know that the gift of Jesus Christ is all that you really need.

Mary truly has a spectacular testimony. Her story shows us that setting our hearts towards trust and Praise can change our lives. Even when our circumstances aren't the best, trust and praise help us to see them with a God sized vision and we can finally experience the joy of Christ.

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