“Mary said, ‘My soul praises the Lord’s greatness!
My spirit finds its joy in God, my Savior,
because the Almighty has done great things tome.
His name is holy.’ ”
I never get tired of the Christmas Story, nor of spending time contemplating its innumerable facets. I’ve heard the story read at Christmas time since my earliest memories.
Today, as I read this familiar passage, I was struck by a tiny word that wasn’t the familiar version I had memorized as a child. The little word “to” caught my attention. I had always known it to be “for” me. Today, it was different – “…the Almighty has done great things to me.” A tiny word can make a lot of difference.
Mary’s entire world and life turned upside down when she accepted the role of being the mother of the Messiah. Throughout the ages since then, Mary has been honored, praised, and beloved. Her change in status throughout history has been uniquely honored. This would be the aspect that comes to mind when I read “…the Almighty has done great things forme.” Which is absolutely true.
But, while the miracle was taking place inher, and all the days of her life following the birth of Jesus, God was doing great things to her. He was literally changing her body, her heart, her family, her community, and her future. Much of those changes were painful, unpopular, and challenging.
It is far easier to embrace what God does forus. But it is much deeper, more intimate, scary and life-changing when we allow God to do what He wants to us. It is much more risky to invite Him into my life. It will change not only my present, but my future. And those life-alterations are not in our control.
It all comes down to a matter of choice. . . the choice to trust Him with my life, no matter what. Or will I hold onto my life as tightly as I can? Will I desperately hold onto His Hand, do what is hard, painful, seemingly impossible….simply because He’s asked me to? Or not?