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Mary didn’t plan on changing the world that day. But God had other plans. He sent a shocking, larger than life messenger with good news (Luke 1). The virgin the prophets had spoken of was HER! God wanted to use her in a great way … if she was willing.

It wouldn’t be easy. People would talk. Folks would think she was immoral or crazy. She might not have support from her family. But, placed in the Master’s Hands, her life would make a difference.

Mary had a choice to be used by God. She was young and poor, probably not an obvious candidate to those around her, yet she chose to believe the unfathomable words of the angel Gabriel. At that moment, she surrendered her whole self to be used in God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

Her five-word response tells us what she was made of, even at her young age: “I am the Lord’s servant.” Whew! Lord, help me be more like Mary!

Two important notes to remember from Gabe: (1) Do not be afraid; and (2) Nothing is impossible with God.

Joseph had a choice to be a key player in the birth of the Savior. At first, he was troubled about the news Mary shared. Too much to grasp or believe, he was determined to divorce her privately. Before that could come about, an angel spoke to him in a dream telling him that everything was just as Mary had said (Matthew 1). Though he didn’t have all the answers and had no clue what lay ahead, Joseph chose to believe the words of the angel. He trusted that God was at work and surrendered to His will.

God’s plan often differs from our own. Difficulties may come, but He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6) and give us courage and strength along the way (Joshua 1:9)!

The Christmas story holds wonderful examples of surrendering to God:

  • Mary surrendered her heart and life.
  • Joseph surrendered his future. It wasn’t what he had dreamed of at all!
  • The shepherds surrendered their time. Leaving work, they took their personal time to look for the newborn King. Do we give of our free time to seek Him out?
  • The wise men surrendered their gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh — to be used as needed. What gifts has God given us? Are we using them for His glory?
  • Jesus surrendered His seat in heaven to become a baby. The He surrendered Himself to be crucified, becoming the sacrifice for our sin.

If we surrender our lives to God, if we truly let go, He can use us as instruments in His Hands. What would that look like? Where would that take us?

As we approach a new year, let’s purpose in our hearts to be fully surrendered to God’s will and perfect plan. The year 2020 has stripped away everything we have known as normal. What do we have to lose?

Lord, help me to daily surrender my life to Your plan! No matter what the day or the future holds, use me as an instrument in Your Hands!

Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at preacherswife7@yahoo.com.