She wasn't braver. Stronger. Her faith didn't come from some fantasticly occurring feat that meant it was easy.
The purpose of life occurred to Mary and she did the only thing that is to live: she abandoned herself to God.
Because if Jesus came that we may have Life, Life that is forever and eternal, it is not about feeling good in Today: it is breathing in and breathing out grace, by Grace. Because of Grace. We live Today only today... and we live Tomorrow forever.
When Today is gone and we awake, falling on our knees before Jesus -- every single broken soul in this grace-seeking world --
what good is this life I'm seeking to gain and have and attain and achieve?
It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are lost.
Look, does it make sense to truly become successful, but then to hand over your very soul? What is your soul really worth?
For what is a man profited if he may gain the whole world, but of his life suffer loss?
In Matthew, "Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?"
This mad desire for satisfaction. For peace. For joy. Everything I do is to feel that, to find it: to feel Alive. I hear it in the songs of a thousand people, in every story I read. It's our every motive, our every wish and hope.
To feel okay again.
To fill this emptiness that is like hunger, and hunger is something that doesn't go away, not ever, even if you're hungry for twelve years, you don't stop being hungry unless some grateful soul gives you a plate of food.
Only it's been months and you're holding onto the trolley as if were a guide dog leading your blind soul as you wander aimlessly up and down the aisles, chucking in miscellaneous items because they've got that yellow sticker that means they're on special and you don't look at anyone, you don't care who they are because you're so tired and inwardly you scold yourself for not running again this morning because how do you expect to feel okay if you're not going to put in any effort?
But you know, anyway, that the last time you ran your head ached for hours and you weren't happy, anyway, not like it used to be when you first started running --
and that's how it goes, isn't it? You've finally found it, this secret formula to a happy life. And you're halfway through the equation and you flip to the back, where the answers are... and it's wrong. You messed it up again and there's no way in all of life that you can figure this out.
And it doesn't matter how many things go right and how many just end up battered and bruised and broken, just like the people we are -- wounding and poisoning and hating, inadequacy hiding and jumping out from every corner, piggybacking fear, because aren't they on a team that hates our guts?
You can be front row at Biebs and realize all of a sudden that you're not screaming your head off like you were for 1D because all of a sudden you know: they're not breathing any different than any other broken soul and they're seeking fulfilment in the exact same way because nothing ever stays, nothing ever satisfies. Not truly. Not eternally.
And you're supposed to be helping to empty our the house but you're not, you've gone out the front door and you're out here on the trampoline -- the one you got for Christmas when you were seven years old and now you're seventeen and it's worn in, finally. The seams are coming out and there's holes and yeah, it's breaking. And you can hear all the birdies tweeting, tweeting the old fashioned way and the chooks are roaming round the place, munching on freshly mowed grass, as if something like grass sustained them and you know something, I accidentally wrote grace right then.
As if grace sustained.
As if it were Grace who satisfied.
"Finished with no-gods. I AM the one who answers and satisfies them." Hosea 14
To sustain is to keep a person from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
Satisfy, to fulfil the desires, needs... to give full contentment.
And you don't want to give up your life. You don't want to abandon it, not even to God Himself. Because it's yours and you've got your own plans and dreams and such. Me me me.
But then you remember now, how you're not living, because you're not anything. And you can't become anything and achieving everything turns out to be nothing again and what is there?
And it turns out that it's still some fantastic risk, huh, giving up a good life like your own to the Maker.
But He promises us, we'll be able to breathe. Really breathe, not shoulders-tensed-teeth-gritted breathing. He said He'll give us a rest, a real rest, all our wearied bodies, and that He'll give us strength because oh, He knows that we're weak underneath all these macho masks designed to scream confidence and courage.
What'd it be, to live without pushing and climbing and screeching and worrying and fretting the words and plans and failures? To live a life that is adventurously expectant?
He promises to satisfy. To sustain.
And we know it's true because this month two thousand years ago he spread His arms wide and saw all this hope for Life in your broken soul and He wept for His life, true.
But it was for you. I swear it's true.
This Jesus, He saved you.
He's saving you.
Breathing grace and Truth, His Spirit moving all through.
Blessed are those eyes are lifted, begging His grace to open them.
And I'm praying it, oh dear Jesus,
Wring me out and sink me into You.
Draw us near to You.