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by Elisa Morgan
Did you get your invitation? The one from God – specifically for you? How will you respond?
In Scripture we find many portraits of people God invited to join his work – along with their responses to his invitation. Take Mary, Jesus’ mom. God’s invitation was to a surprise party of sorts. He entered her life through a stunning messenger and offered her a role in the history of the universe – in the here and in the beyond.
She was a normal woman who faced a life filled with choices and challenges, just as we face. Whether in private or in public, she put one foot in front of another and walked steadily toward God’s desires. In one astonishing moment of surrender, and then throughout her days on the planet, we see a woman who rsvp’d to God and said “yes!”
What was her secret?
Twice in the space of just a few chapters, Luke underlines what I believe is the key to Mary’s legacy.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 And then again in Luke 2:1, “But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
To treasure means to store up. To ponder means to thread together.
Here’s my take: Mary’s “yeses” were not blind submission and they certainly were not her only response. I think she likely said yes while also saying What? And yes while also saying Why? And yes while simultaneously saying How? Hers was not an easy journey. She wasn’t gifted with unconditional trust or instantaneous understanding. Rather, Scripture reveals in Mary a layered learning, which begins with a terror-struck yielding and then progresses into a gradual comprehension as she strings her “yeses” together into a lifetime of agreement with the purposes of God.
When I was sixteen, I said yes to Jesus. At twenty-two I said yes to Seminary. A year later I said yes to marriage with Evan. A year later, I said yes to teaching in a Bible College, when I had no idea I could speak before others. Several years later I said yes to adopting first my daughter, Eva and then my son, Ethan. When they were toddlers I said yes to MOPS and in so doing, I said yes to leading. When my daughter became pregnant as a teenager, I said yes to grandmothering. In the years since, I’ve said yes to the joy that my grandson brings. When it was clear to me that the time had come for the next generation of leadership at MOPS, I said yes to leaving. Today I say yes to publishing FullFill in order to mobilize more women to live out their influence.
What was Mary’s secret in saying yes to God? Layering. Responding to God with one “yes” at a time, Mary threaded each yes into a legacy of influence that today serves as a tapestry template for women all over the world. She was an unsuspecting servant who agreed with God’s purpose in one season and watched him provide over her lifetime all that she would need to fulfill it.
Where is God inviting you to invest your influence? Will you say yes?
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