“Nothing is impossible for God!” So the angel said to Mary concerning the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about the births of both John and Jesus. Mary’s response is one full of faith and commitment: “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” I admire the confident belief of Mary. There was no cognitive disconnection or spiritual gap between her hearing the Word of God and exercising faith.
It is far too easy to relegate the power of the Holy Spirit and the faith of others to special saintly-type persons. We common folk cannot surely have such faith! Yet, we are all called to a life of faith believing that the impossible is always possible with God. In those times when we think God certainly cannot or will not forgive us for sinning yet again, we are called to trust in the gospel of grace which turns impossible sinners into saints full of possibility. In those seasons of life where cynicism and sarcasm become our constant companions because we have lost hope that life can be different, God breaks in and speaks impossible words of expectancy which blows our hearts open to the Spirit’s work. In the days when our faith seems so small and puny that even getting out of bed seems impossible, God takes the littlest mustard seed of belief and grows it so big that even our spiritual blindness can see it.
Just as Mary had to believe and patiently wait for the child within her to gestate, so we must simply believe, wait, and watch for the growth that God gives in the power of his Spirit. For faith is not some human engineered checklist of right beliefs, but is an active relationship with God through Christ by means of his Holy Spirit. We only learn such a faith by trying, failing, receiving grace, and going at it again. Our lives are not impossibly messed up and hopeless because we serve the God of all possibilities.
Mighty God, I want to believe; help me in my unbelief! May I have the faith of Mary so that I can see the power of your Holy Spirit in action through my life into this world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.