Monday, December 1, 2014

Magnifying the Lord Instead of Our Problems

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46, 47 RSV).

I want to enjoy special holidays and events as much as possible, but health problems can make that challenging.

Each year as the holidays approach, I am torn between what I want to do and what I can realistically do.  I want to go to special programs in the community and church but have trouble sitting or standing for very long.  I want to share food with friends and family but know that many foods will give me migraines and sleeplessness.  I want to enjoy decorating and shopping but know my back pain will be worse because of it.  I want to have company but know that the preparation and cleanup are exhausting.  It becomes easy to magnify my problems. 

Mary may not have had chronic health problems, but she certainly had the major cultural problem of being an unwed mother.  Although that scenario is no longer taboo in our society, she could have been stoned for it.  She was faced with a very challenging and uncertain future.  Yet her ultimate response to her situation was not fear or complaint, but praise.  Her soul magnified God.  When something is magnified, it is enlarged beyond bounds. Rather than enlarging the negative aspects of her situation, her spirit rose up in praise and rejoicing to God, trusting in God’s plan and humbled by His work in her life.

I would like to follow Mary’s example.  This holiday season, when tempted to enlarge my pains and discouragements, I hope to focus instead on the gift of Jesus and His presence, power, and provision in my life each day.  Those things are worth magnifying, during the holidays and for all eternity.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a heart attitude like Mary’s - one that accepts Your plans for my life, even when they are not of my choosing or understanding.  And as I magnify You, I will receive far greater blessings and joy than any earthly holiday or tradition could provide.  Amen.

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