Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,"
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike [to You.]
Psalm 139:7-12 (NASB)
Hymn: "Thy Kingdom Come, O God" Lewis Hensley
I was once in a group discussion where we were looking at the announcement to Mary that she would bear the Son of God. We had just done the announcement to Zacharias, so it was fresh enough in everyone's mind that one person felt the need to ask why Mary was being favored while questioning Gabriel when Zacharias was being punished for doing the same thing. As was discussed then, there is a notable difference in how they question the angel.
Zacharias said to the angel, "How will I know this [for certain?] For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
Luke 1:18, 34 (NASB)
Zacharias is actively challenging the message he's received. He recognizes the obstacles facing what he's been promised, and responds by calling on the angel to prove the truth of the message. Mary, on the other hand, has some logistical concerns of her own--a sensible response, especially given what will be asked of her--but she doesn't challenge the message. She just asks for more information. There is a world of difference between the questions "how will you do it?" and "how can I know that you will do it?"
When God lays a call on us, it may seem larger than we can grasp. I can think of no example in scripture or personal experience where it seemed small enough that the one being called could do it on their own. In periods of darkness and waiting, it can be hard to see how things are ever going to work out. It is natural to cry out, "God, how? How will you do this? How will this happen?"And this is a fine question to ask! God may or may not explain His processes, frequently He won't, but there is no condemnation for asking. Where we go astray is when we begin to doubt that He can, and treat that doubt as a greater truth than His promise. We all have periods of doubt, and what we do with those periods matter. We may ask questions of the Lord. We may express concern. We may pour out all our fears and doubts and troubles to Him, and He will graciously receive us. We cannot forget that God can work and move in situations where we can't even see what surrounds us. Let us have a heart like Mary's, that we look to the promises of God and respond, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word" ( from Luke 1:38 NASB).
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation