I need details.
If you ask me to do something, I am going to ask you 347 different questions to be sure I fully understand and am on board.
I remember when I joined a small group of ladies who gathered weekly to focus on praying for our husbands – as we finished with introductions and small talk, we were about to pray. This being our first meeting, I needed specifics, so I asked. “Are we going to pray out loud?” “Are we all going to pray at the same time?” “Will we take turns going around the circle?” “How will we know the other person is finished?” “Who is going to cover which prayer requests?” “Will we each cover all of them, or each person take someone else’s?”
I didn’t want surprises, or uncomfortable situations. I wanted to be prepared.
While I don’t think that’s always a bad thing, there are times when God just wants to lead us, and keep some of the details from us until we are ready. And I should be fine with that, but I’m not.
I’ve been reading a lot about Christ’s birth the last couple of weeks. In Luke chapter 1, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel, starting in verse 26.
Nevermind that I can’t wrap my mind around what it must have been like to get a message from an actual angel, I am sure I couldn’t have handled it as calmly as Mary did.
Gabriel shows up, and after only 10 sentences, Mary is signing on the dotted line.
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting his might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
Ten sentences, with very few direct details, and that’s all she gets. But that seems to be all she needs. Her response is highlighted in hot pink in my Bible, reminding me to learn from her. Mary asked one question, and then here is her answer to Gabriel-
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said.”
I want the faith and obedience of Mary. If I feel God nudging my heart to go/do/say, I want to say what she said. Instead, I am likely to say, “Are you sure?” “When?” “How?” “What if…?”
I’ve got a lengthy list of questions I would want to ask if I was in her shoes, but she doesn’t ask them. She trusts the God of the universe to take care of her and work out all the details, knowing He will provide.
If you are like me, and want all the details of the task or calling God has given you, decide with me to change. The next time we feel God saying, “Here is your next assignment,” we will say to Him, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.'” – Psalm 31:14