By Dawn Smiling
The angel, Gabriel, went to Nazareth to visit a virgin named Mary and declared “Greetings, you are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The Angel said to her, “Mary do not be afraid, 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.” Mary asked “how will this be 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.”
I am moved by this conversation between Mary and the Angel, Gabriel because this has been a year of great expectation for me. I have experienced ups and downs this year that forced me to believe God before I could see the outcome. I found it very painful and it felt like I was actually giving birth with real contractions. It takes faith over fear to believe God for the outcome before the manifestation appears. To believe God for healing while you are still in pain. To believe God to deliver a family member who is still in bondage.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus, we can learn from Mary’s example and her response to God when things did not make sense. You may feel troubled in your state of expectancy, but don’t remain in that place. Psalms 56:3 tells us “when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Remind yourself that you are favored just as Mary is and as a child of God, no opportunity that God has prepared for you will pass you by.
As the angel advised Mary to name her expectation Jesus, your faith requires you to name your expectations. As the Holy Spirit gives you courage to move in faith towards your dreams, goals and desires, it’s okay to tell God you feel unprepared for your experience. Be encouraged to take the response of Mary.
To live a life of great expectation is to believe that God will allow you to see guidance for your children, health for your family, and prosperity in your finances. To see the end at the beginning knowing God will honor your faith. Expect it!
Enjoy this season of celebration expecting miracles for those you love. Extend an invitation to those who still have not met our Savior, Jesus Christ, with great expectation.
What are your great expectations?