I can still remember the absolute shock I felt standing holding the phone in the middle of shared office space at Texas A&M in August of 1991.
“Your pregnancy test was positive,” the nurse from my doctor’s office said.
I found myself slowly sitting down as joy and utter confusion washed over me. How could this be? I had been told this wasn’t possible.
More questions ricocheted around my mind in time to the beat of my steps back to my classroom that afternoon.
Is this why I’ve been so tired? I probably shouldn’t have gone whitewater rafting. Did that hurt the baby? How will I tell my husband?
While the announcement of my first pregnancy came to me over a landline, Mary received the good news of baby Jesus from an angel named Gabriel.
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:30-38 ESV)
Mary also wondered about how this pregnancy could be. Indeed, she also carried the tension of joy and utter confusion. And yet, she became the very first person to believe in Jesus. Her humble acceptance of a holy assignment changed the world.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, which falls on December 19 this year, churches worldwide light the angel candle. This one symbolizes peace and the good news the Angel Gabriel brought to Mary regarding the upcoming birth of Jesus, the world’s savior. Finally, God had answered the cry of his oppressed people with the promised Messiah.
In Psalm 28, the fearful psalmist cries out to a promise-keeping God in full confidence that he will be heard and God will act justly.
1 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary. 3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. 4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more. Psalm 28:1-5 ESV
Thank you, Lord, that you hear my prayers any time I cry out to you. You are never too busy and distracted. You will bring perfect justice to this world.
6 Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. 8 The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 9 Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:6-9 ESV
Thank you, Lord. I choose to bless you because You still hear the panicked prayers of mothers and issue abundant mercy for your good purposes. I am grateful for the gift of strength you provide. You alone are always worthy of my heart’s trust. You are my provider of refuge. Therefore, I can do all you ask me to do because You have promised to be my shield, strength, and shepherd. You sent your Son as a tiny baby who grew up to save and serve us as our Shepherd and King, now and always.
A Prayer for Kingdom-Size Assignment
Lord, as I light the fourth Advent candle in the final days before Christmas, let me recall the good news of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me remember the faithful obedience of Mary. Even when she couldn’t fully comprehend what was being asked of her, she accepted that You would make the way. Help me to obey You, even when I don’t understand. Give me the strength to follow through entirely on Kingdom-size assignments that I cannot possibly accomplish in my own strength. Help me to look to You for protection and provision. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How about you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by an assignment that seems too much?
3 thoughts on “How Can I Say Yes to Kingdom-Size Assignments? Psalm 28”
The situation God called me from (drugs, foolishness, promiscuity) and into (a new life in Christ)– the context– is both wonderful and pretty unbearable. Between who I used to be, and what my reputation was, and who God has called me to be, is so incredibly painful. I don’t k ow what to do, still. It’s wonderful to know Him but also it’s incredibly difficult because I don’t know how to live like Jesus in this world, in my life. I feel like I can never get far enough away from my shame, I don’t know if I will ever be able to hold down a job long term.
He is wonderful and marvelous and worth it.
Amen to the final line: “but God”. He calls you beloved daughter. He loves you so much and He is making a way for you as you stay close to him. Praying for you, sister.
He is so worth it and knows that you are too.
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