Lord, so often I wonder about Mary, the mother of Jesus, especially at Christmastime. According to tradition she was so young, only fourteen. I often wonder: Was she the first young woman the Angel Gabriel approached about bearing the Messiah? Did others count the cost and turn him down? Clearly Mary consented by her statement in Luke 2:38, Be it unto me according to thy word.” I suppose she could have said no. She could have said, “I don’t think Joseph would like this.” She could have said, “Could you choose someone else?”

I can imagine a fourteen-year-old girl in that situation today. Critics of your divine plan would have a heyday, Lord. I can hear them now: “How could God do such a thing to a mere child? Why, there’s no way that she is physically or emotionally prepared for this.”

Once I told a dear Christian lady that I had given my life to Jesus at a very early age. I was probably only four years old, but I knew what I was doing. The lady responded, “Yes, my dear, but do you think you were ready for such a commitment?” Ready? For me being ready had nothing to do with it. I knew I was a sinner. I knew I needed Jesus to wash away my sins. I was no more and no less ready to be saved at four than Mary was ready to bear the Son of God at fourteen.

I think we just have to do some things before we are “ready.” Lord, last week I was so mad at you, I yelled, “Lord, you’ve got me in a straitjacket! You’ve promised me this, you’ve promised me that, and here I sit. I’ve tried to do that, and the doors are closed. What am I supposed to do?!”

You were really waiting for that, weren’t you? Immediately you convicted me about two areas of my life you want me to change. You want me to make permanent changes, too. I’m not “ready” to do that, Lord. But I can’t stand here at the water’s edge like the ancient Israelites, only looking at the Promised Land on the other side and waiting for the sea to dry up. I know I have to make the full commitment and get my feet in the water. Well, OK. Here I come, Lord, “ready” or not!

(From Psalms from a Sparrow)