Advent has come upon us. We watch and wait with Mary, as her fiat, her “yes” to God’s will comes to fruition. The Annunciation isn’t an event that makes sense on a purely human level. Mary was just a young girl—and God asked her to carry the Savior of the world within her, conceived by the Holy Spirit! Sometimes, too, it becomes unmistakable that God is calling us to do something that may not make sense. Will we have the courage to say “yes”?
There are many decisions to be made in our lives. Decisions are complex, and so is discernment. There are times when we realize, along with the help of holy advisors, that we are being pulled in a certain direction. God sometimes asks us to do things that push us outside of our comfort zones. We are asked to obey and say “yes,” though we don’t know the implications of what will happen after our act of obedience. One of the most difficult aspects of this earthly life is the unknowns. It is intimidating to make big decisions or to take risks when we don’t know what those decisions will bring. That is where trust in God comes in. Mary knew that it was a risky thing to be an engaged woman and pregnant out of wedlock. Though she knew it would cause controversy, she trusted God to be God and gave her “yes”. From her fiat, her “let it be done unto me according to Your Word,” a Savior came to Earth. He loved us even unto the point of death, so that we could live eternally.
The decisions that we are asked to make don’t have such drastic consequences. Yet often the consequences can be eternal. Think of the person who leaves a lucrative job to bring Christ somewhere where He is not yet known. How many souls did that person help to save? What about the woman who gives her child life against the doctor’s advice due to her frail health, putting her own life in danger? In one particular case in 1920, a woman in this very situation decided to give her child life, bringing Pope Saint John Paul II into the world. In scenarios more possible in our own lives, accepting a job that tears you from what is comfortable could be the step that leads you to your spouse. Often God pours down blessings through obedience. In my own life, I can think of situations where I knew what the right thing to do was, but delayed. Once I made the decision that I knew God was asking, it seemed as if the floodgates of blessing poured down.
When God asks us to obey, the consequences may not always be desirable in our eyes. For example, a move that we clearly discerned may not pan out how we had hoped. Yet these situations can humble us by reminding us to rely on God alone and His purposes, instead of searching for our own glory. Only God knows where our obedience will lead. It is up to us to take the step of saying “yes” and walk into the great unknown.
What will your “yes” bring? As the angel Gabriel told Mary, “do not be afraid.” Trust God and know that your “yes” will work for your own good and for His glory. Step into the great unknown, holding the hand of your Father Who loves you more than anything.
“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38