“It is not that the Annunciation leads Mary out of doubt and into faith; it is that her encounter with the angel leads her out of certainty and into holy bewilderment. Out of familiar spiritual territory and into a lifetime of pondering, wondering, questioning, and wrestling.” —Debie Thomas
We like to think of faith is an assured confidence – and often it is. There are other times, though, when stepping out in faith leads to what Debie Thomas called “holy bewilderment”.
Mary was chosen to be part of the turning point of history – the time when God would enter this world as a baby and grow up to be the God-man who would sacrifice himself for the sins of the world. I’m sure Mary had expectations when she learned she would bear God’s son, but confusion set in as the story unfolded. She didn’t anticipate so much suffering, rejection, pain, and uncertainty. But all of that was part of the journey she set out on when she said “yes” to God.
In this Christmas season are you finding yourself “pondering, wondering, questioning, and wrestling”? Don’t despair. This is part of living a life of faith. If we could see how our story ends or could understand what to make of our quandaries, it wouldn’t be faith.
What did Mary do with her bewilderment? She went to see her older cousin Elizabeth. Maybe we, too, can find someone a little further down the road than we are in the life of faith and get some good counsel. We, too, can develop a life of prayer as Mary doubtless had already. We, too, can do the next right thing day-by-day until we begin to understand God’s plan. That’s what faith means – trusting God even when we’re full of questions.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7