When Obedience Causes Problems

Mary, unlike her cousin Elizabeth, was young.

Elizabeth was old and childless.

Mary, however, is young and un, married.

Imagine her surprise when, as she is going about her daily routines,

of cooking cleaning, perhaps caring for younger children, or planting and harvesting,

`a heavenly being stops and interrupts and upsets everything with the news

that she would soon have a baby.

She would not have just any baby,

but the son of God, the Messiah.

This is great news!

For Mary obedience was not, merely, inconvenient

it was bound to cause problems.

Mary was unmarried and just like any small town,

people know your business before you do. 

People were going to know that she was having a baby outside of marriage.

I know that today it's not a big thing,

but in that society, she could have been stoned, killed.

That's a huge problem. 

If she were not killed, they were sure to treat her as an outcast.

still a problem for Mary.

Joseph, her fiancee, could have the agreement of marriage broken

for her unfaithfulness.

We know she was not unfaithful but her family friends and neighbors

would not know or understand her plight.

Yes, I imagine there might be a few who would  believe her,

most, like you or I, would have some serious doubts.

Mary, knowing the situation, responds with, "I am the Lord’s servant." 

"May it be done to me according to your word.” 

She accepted the Lords plan for her, though it was sure to cause problems.

and it looked nothing like the plans she had for her life.

Perhaps it was for this reason, that she decided to go to visit Elizabeth.

She needed to go someplace where no one knew her, and she could process

all the changes and problems that suddenly waltzed into her serene life.

Eventually, she decided that, like us, she could not run from her problems,

so she went home ready to face the public disgrace, 

and the possible loss of a stable home life,

and yes, perhaps die at the hands of her accusers.

She had no assurance that God would intervene.

Imagine, if you will, for a moment how different things would have been

if she had said, "This is too much.  I can't do this. What will people think?

How can I be expected to do this?  It's not fair!

But Mary was obedient even though it created more problems than it solved.

If Mary could be obedient and follow God's plan 

in spite of the dire circumstances she was placed in

so can we.

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