How Can This Be?

“Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1:34)

         Life is full of questions about things that we do not understand.  Whether it is a student in school wrestling with Algebra, a stranded motorist looking under their car on the side of the road, a worried father looking over the family finances, or a grieving individual trying to come to terms with someone’s unexpected death, we spend a lot of life asking questions.  Who, what, where, when, and how are often the first word in many of our thoughts and statements.

         When Mary was told by Gabriel that she was to conceive a child in her womb, her first response was, “how can this be, since I am a virgin?”  Mary might not have known anything about algebra, but she knew basic biology.  Virgins don’t have babies.  She and Joseph had not yet sexually been together, so conception seemed impossible.  The math just did not add up.  She is left only with a question, “How can this be?”

         The process of discernment itself is filled with questions.  When you are trying to discern God’s will for your life or for your church, it might seem like you have more questions than answers about the future.  Questions that sometimes seem impossible to answer.  However, discernment by nature begins with questions. As we wrestle with God’s will for our future, there are many unknowns that must be addressed.  Answers to these unknowns do not necessarily come easy or quickly.  Discernment takes time.  Although you will have to ultimately come to some decision, rushing toward an answer can be disastrous.  Just as Mary’s pregnancy would take nine months to be fulfilled, and there would be many questions along the way, so is it in our own lives.  Discerning God’s will means sometimes waiting on the answers to be born.

Prayer:  Give us, Lord, the courage to ask the right questions and the patience for you to answer.

Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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