“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God…. For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:35, 37).
The Ancient of Days became a newborn. The One who created the first woman was born of a woman.
Though heaven and earth cannot contain Him, He chose to be confined to a human body. He chose to be held in the arms of a teenage girl, even though His own arms, His “everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27), hold the entire universe in place. He whose voice is “powerful” and “full of majesty” (Ps. 29:4) was reduced to “speaking” with the coo and cry of a tiny baby. He who “sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord [who} sits enthroned as king forever” (Ps 29:10) exchanged His lofty throne for an animal’s feeding trough.
Yet in this case, because the story of Jesus’ birth is so known and familiar to us, we do something we don’t do often enough. We believe the impossible. We sing with joyful acceptance about things that make no earthly sense unless God actually did what cannot possibly be done. We marvel at it, and we worship Him for it, despite our inability to understand it. Because since it’s baby Jesus, since it’s the Christmas story … it doesn’t sound so impossible anymore.
This year, however, as you prepare for Christmas, don’t start with what you already know of the story. Imagine yourself instead in the heart of a young girl to whom the events of Luke 1 occurred on just another ordinary day, in a place where impossible things never happened. She didn’t wake up that morning expecting an angel to visit. She had no way of knowing ahead of time what God had chosen her to do, much less how He intended to do it. She was likely thinking of little else besides her plans for getting married and living happily into the future with her future husband. She held in her mind, as perhaps you hold in yours, a simple little picture of what her life was to be like—a picture framed by nothing but possible outcomes.
Yet before her name became written in Scripture, before her likeness was carved and colored into countless nativity scenes—before Christmas became somehow easy for us to believe—
Mary believed. She believed the impossible.
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Surely in this December season, you’re faced with God-assigned tasks where you’re asking, “How can I do this? I don’t have the ability. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the resources. This is impossible!” But your task, like Mary’s task, is meant to be made possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit. You and I must be willing to surrender ourselves by faith and let God take over, knowing He alone can do the impossible through us.
Lord, apart from You, I will accomplish nothing of eternal significance today or throughout this Christmas season. So I look to You to overshadow me, to fill me with Your Spirit and enable me to accomplish all You have purposed for me to do. Help me not trust in my own strengths, skills, or success, but only in You, for Your honor and glory alone.
Even if the tasks awaiting you in the coming days are things you’ve done many times before, how might they grow in significance as you consciously depend on God to perform them?
A 31-Day Advent Devotional