pur.pose noun: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exist.
The time of year is here where we will start seeing the words: thankful, giving and gratitude all over. Television will show families sitting around the table while zooming in on the turkey. Store will have an array of decorative foliage, rustic ‘Give Thanks” and “Happy Fall Y’all” wooden signs. Porches will have decorations of yellow gold, orange and maroon mums with a large seasonal wreath hung on the door.
Combine all of that with the fact that Starbucks is serving pumpkin spice and s’more lattes, wearing sweaters, scarves, cute jackets, boots and adorable hats, guys growing out beards and the beauty in the colors and crispness that only comes in nature during this time of the year; you get my favorite time of the year.
I love Fall!
To get my mindset right this holiday season, I chose to participate in a November Scripture Writing Plan by wholemagazine.org “Perpetual Gratitude” today’s verse made me think of something else that takes places during this time, churches will start singing even more hymns praise songs about giving thanks, the sermons will turn to the blessing in being grateful and eventually end up with birth of Christ next month in December. It isn’t until the Holiday season, especially Christmas and Easter do we think too much about all the characters involved with the story of Jesus birth and the gift of salvation.
2 Samuel 22:50 Lord, that is why I praise you among the nations. That is why I sing songs of praise to your name.
As Christians who have grown up in the faith this is something we can take for granted. Yes, we are thankful for the fact we are forgiven for those things we are repented of but we don’t focus on how it all came about the other parts of the year and those we need to be grateful for saying “Yes, God!” when He called upon them.
Naturally, we start with God who is all powerful. There are numerous ways He could have made our ability to be forgiven for sins take place; sacrificing an actual lamb (not the symbolic symbol of Jesus). He could have given us an endless list of “works” to do in order to achieve heaven but He chose the life of his earthly son, Jesus to die on the cross and only asked us to have the faith to believe in Him and the repentance for our sins.
Then we look at Jesus, who had a major purpose in our world. To be an example of fleshly temptations and withstanding them, the parables of his teachings, stories of works and miracles performed and the over all reminder that we are born to die but it is what we do between the start and end of our lives that really matters.
Now for Mary. The one person who was there from start to finish with Jesus and there for all the time in between. There from the moment he took his first breath and there when he took his last on the cross, she was there to provide comfort to her son.
I am not a mother and I have no idea if the plan for my life is to ever be one. At thirty-five years old and two weeks into my first marriage, I can say it has crossed my mind more than a few times. However, I can still not know the joys of giving birth, being a mother or the pain and sorrow that comes from losing a child after raising them such as Mary did with Jesus.
As wonderful as our gift of salvation is, I cannot help but marvel at the “Purpose of Mary” and how she is possibly the greatest example of complete abandonment of everything that limits us from saying “Yes, God!” It is in Mary do I feel we can learn our greatest lesson about whatever purpose God has called for our lives.
God was all powerful.
Jesus was God in earth form.
But, Mary, was just an earthly woman in the middle of planning her wedding who we know nothing of her until Gabriel comes to her in Luke (1:26-27). Women, if you are married or if you are engaged, remember all the stress that comes from trying to plan a wedding? Now mix that in with Gabriel coming down and saying, “Hey, now I know you are busy and all, probably got a lot going on with the wedding plan but I need to let you know that the powers that be has decided you will carry his child. Oh, and don’t worry, you man will be fine with it.”
We would chalk that up to stress and exhaustion! We couldn’t even fathom the idea of this taking place in our lives in the middle of planning a wedding. Mary, even though confused and naturally wanted to know just how she would end up carrying a child while being a virgin, didn’t chalk it up to stress or exhaustion. She says:
“I am the Lord’s servant, may it happen to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
She willing accepts the role of what could be considered the most important job in history. She understood the amazing power that comes when you say, “Yes.” to God when says He has a purpose for your life. It was in the moment of his death can we learn two important lessons from her.
First, no matter what our culture says about women and the role of being a mother, it is truly one of the most important things we can do on this earth as women. For those of us who have a desire to put our professional career on hold while we have children, we are often made to feel like doing so is settling for something less than what we deserve and sending ourselves back in time. That we are encouraging others to treat us as we have voice.
We are told that we were made for more than just giving birth or being a mother and the world is partly right. Women are now at a great advantage in many aspects and are able to achieve many things that we have been unable to achieve in our societies past.
We can lead congress, run for leading our nations, become successful business owners and can pretty much do anything we want and are willing to put our minds to succeed at doing. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t be CEOs or have a job and not be a wonderful mother to our children.
The hard part for those of us who have a desire not have a career and be a mother comes when we are constantly feeling the judgement from our peers from our choice. We struggle with the “what-ifs”, the trying to figure out if we are just trying to convince ourselves if being just a mother for now is fulfilling or if we are really fulfilled. It leads for us to doubt and asking “Was there something else I was supposed to be doing with my life? Surly I supposed to be doing something else besides just being a mother.”
Well, my dear friends, maybe we weren’t. Maybe we have that desire because God has put that purpose in our hearts for a reason. Maybe we will end up giving birth to a child who will forever change the world. Other women may have a different purpose. They may be answering the call of being a mother and being CEO of a major company. Others may be answering the call to never have children. Some accepting the call they may never be able to give birth to their own child and accepting the call to take in a child who needs a loving family.
No matter what our calling is as women, it makes none of us any greater or any less for willingly being able to accept the call that God has called for us when it comes to what we should do with out lives. Each of us, men and women, a like have a specific purpose and we should never let another person cause us to doubt that calling in our lives. Embrace the purpose of being in the center of His purpose for your life. Embrace the greatness that comes from saying, “Yes, God!”
Secondly we have one of the best examples in history of how God uses the most ordinary people in amazing ways when they are willing to accept His call for their lives. It is a reminder that no matter who we are or where we are in life, if we are willing to say “Yes, God!” such as Mary did, we can be used for something greater than ourselves.
Mary only had her faith when she agreed to the decision to carry Jesus in her womb. We can see how ordinary and human she was by her asking the asking Gabriel how it was even possible. However, she still accepted her purpose with joy. It is such an amazing example of how leading a life of “Yes” can be not only life changing but world changing.
God is God.
Jesus is God in earthly form.
Mary, just a regular ordinary woman trying to plan a wedding. There was no supernatural power about her to make it easier for her to accept her fate, just her faith.
Let the extraordinary ordinariness of Mary serve as a reminder to us that saying “Yes, God!” even when we do not understand how what He is requesting is even possible will lead to a life that can and will change the world. We can accept our purposes, calling, fate and path in life with faith as long as we remember that promise of greatness that is done through Him.
As the Thanksgiving season starts, let’s remember Mary and the beginning of the salvation we have, how it really started with one ordinary person saying: