Something struck me this year as I read the Christmas story and I haven't been able to get away from it, especially since the theme of fearlessness has been on the forefront of my mind.
Luke 1: (Paraphrased by me)
Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she was the chosen one to carry the Messiah, the King of Kings, the One her people had been anticipating for hundreds of years. WOW! I imagine that she would've felt like the least qualified for this job. Thus, her answer, "How will this be since I am a virgin?" 1:34.
In verse 35 the angel tells her exactly how it is going to happen...through the power of the Holy Spirit. He even gives her a story to increase her faith. Her cousin Elisabeth who is really old and barren is pregnant. He says, "For nothing is impossible with God!" 1:37 No human mind can comprehend this fact. But, Mary had faith. Her reply to this "impossible" news? "I am the Lord's servant." "May it be to me as you have said!" 1:38
What happens next is what really stood out to me this year: "In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah" 1:39
1. God called Mary to something far beyond herself
This is evident. A little single naive girl carrying the Savior of the world? Only through eyes of faith does this look like a possibility. But, as God has revealed all through scripture, this is how He works. He calls the ones who look like the least qualified (As we will see later on in the year as we look at these stories of fearlessness in the Old Testament.)
2. God gave Mary a refuge in the midst of her great calling
Mary heard from the angel, had faith and RAN to this city of refuge (See Joshua 20:7-9). Elisabeth was waiting there for her, to speak words of truth and comfort to her. "In a loud voice she exclaimed, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!" Luke 1:42
Isn't God sweet? He didn't have to give Mary any more signs and wonders. He had already sent an angel to speak the Word of the Lord to her, yet he chose to raise up flesh and blood to speak truth to Mary. He called on someone who could give Mary a big hug, listen to her fears, and would speak faith into Mary's heart.
Mary's response? Worship! (Keep reading in Luke and you'll hear the beautiful song in Mary's heart)
If God has called us to something far beyond ourselves (we all know He has), He will also provide the refuge from fear that we need to be faithful on the journey. Yes, He will give of Himself and give us all the signs we need to keep going and this is enough. But He will go an extra step and provide the faithful word from flesh and blood that we need as human beings to keep going.
Our only caution should be that we don't forget those miraculous encounters from God to keep us journey. Write them down. You can refer back to them if you're tempted to turn around!