To Respond or React?

December 15, 2021

Luke 1:46-47 NIV

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..."

Today's Reading: Luke 1:46-56

Devo Author: Beth Kenyon

Date: December 15, 2021

Imagine you are 15 years old, doing your daily business, when an Angel pops in to say, “Surprise, you are going to have a baby, name Him Jesus….. and oh, He is God’s Son.” What would you do?

Traumatic events often cause our brains to jump into a fight, flight, or freeze reaction. Fight shouts, “Why is this happening? Why me? I don’t deserve this!” Or yells to God, “That’s NOT FAIR!!!”

A flight response runs away and hides. It causes us to shut down, close up or turn off our emotions, and run to find something to soothe the pain.

Some people literally freeze or faint. Mary could have stuttered, “Wwwwwwhat” or “Hhhhhow” before she dropped to the ground. Yet, that is NOT what is recorded. Luke 1:46-49 describes her response as rejoicing, loud singing, thanking God for all the ways He had been faithful!

Wow! What an example! This young girl shows us how to respond rather than react to life’s unexpected circumstances. She models what to do when frustrations and unfair situations happen. Mary practices gratitude and praise.

I will be honest... I am prone to over-reacting. To quote a favorite movie line, “I come from a long line of over-reactors.” Although it is easier to react in fight, flight, and freeze, Scripture shows us how to begin practicing a new response. We can turn to the God who has proven to be faithful and strong.

These verses teach us that God is merciful, mighty, and can be trusted. They show us how God takes care of those who are hungry and who have needs. God demonstrates that He sees, knows, and cares tenderly for us. This song reveals a lot about God’s people, too. They are highly favored and deeply loved. Mary’s faith in God keeps her from panicking; she chooses to respond in trust rather than fear. She praises instead of complains, singing of the many ways God has kept His promises.

What are your present circumstances? Are fear and doubt causing you to fight, run away, or freeze with fear? Are you mad at God? Have you chosen to hide, burying the hurt? Are you shaking a fist at the crazy things happening around you? Have the traumatic events of this year stolen your joy? Mary’s example is a game changer! When we choose to sing and declare the goodness of God and experience the joy of knowing Him, our fight and fear begin to disappear. Choosing to praise God turns our eyes off our circumstances and lays our hearts in the hands of the only One worth trusting.

Today I challenge you to make an “I will” statement to God. Today, I will sing a song about God’s faithfulness. I will tell my children how amazing You are when they get home. Today, I choose to trust You. I will start making a list, today, of the ways God has shown His love to me. Today, I will tell someone about how God has shown up in the hard times. I will send a text to thank someone who has spoken life and truth to me before I go to work. Today, I will open my hands to God’s love and remember His faithfulness to me.