DAY 10 • DECEMBER 22
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
At the beginning of the Christmas story, Mary goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth sees Mary, she speaks a blessing over her. In response, Mary begins to praise God. Mary calls the Lord the “Mighty One” who has done great things for her. Mary does not become proud or arrogant, which would have been an easy temptation. Instead, she remained humble. Mary could have easily seen the task before her as a curse. She was young, unmarried, and would likely have been shunned by her community for being pregnant out of wedlock. However, instead of focusing on any negative impacts on her own life, she chose to focus on God. She trusted that if God had called her to serve Him, He would take care of her. Her story serves as a reminder to us that sometimes we have to shift our focus off of ourselves to really see the miracle that is happening in and around us.
Take a moment to write down or speak out loud things that you can rejoice about. Praise God for specific ways that he has used you in his plan this year (or in the past generally).
Spend some time in silence before God. Ask him to show you if there are any areas of your life where you are focused on yourself, but should be focused on him and his plan.
Pray that God would bring joy into any areas in your life where you are currently mourning. Bring those areas/circumstances/people boldly before the Lord and ask him to intervene. Remember, Elizabeth spent many years feeling disgrace over not having any children. The Lord was compassionate on her and she became pregnant in her old age, something she and the world thought was impossible. You never know when or how God will turn your mourning into joy.
Today, find a time and a way to connect with a friend or family member and spend some time rejoicing. If you can be with them in person, make special food/drinks, play special music, or do whatever you need to to create a celebratory mood and rejoice over how God is working in your life. If you need to connect from afar, call, text, use Zoom or send a celebratory note in the mail.
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