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Favor Has Its Own Cost

The Watered Soul: Favor Has Its Own Cost

Dec 21, 2010

Favor Has Its Own Cost

Like many this time of year, I have been reflecting upon the story of Jesus’ birth. On Mary in particular. From Biblical accounts there was nothing special about this young girl in particular. Yet God singled her out for the greatest assignment—to birth the Savior of the world. On an ordinary day to an ordinary virgin girl, an extraordinary visitor arrived an interrupted the ordinariness of her life. Luke 1: 28 states the angel had the following greeting for Mary,

“Hail thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary defines favor as gaining approval, acceptance, or special benefits or blessings. I like Merriam-Webster’s definition as well, defines favor as friendly regard shown toward another especially by a superior.  Some how this ordinary virgin girl had gained approval, acceptance or friendly regard by her ultimate superior, God. I am amazed at her response to such favor. With only one spoken question, she faithfully accepts the will of God.

To be favored for such an assignment sounds fascinating  but I wonder did Mary fully understand the magnitude of her yes to favor.   The favor that she didn’t even ask for positioned her for threats. The favor of God threatened her:

  • Relationships:  Because of what she was carrying, Joseph was preparing to walk away from their engagement.
  • Reputation:  The Bible does not go into detail but I can just imagine that the towns people had plenty to say about this young unmarried girl becoming pregnant. Can’t you just hear their whispers and see those funny glances? If Joseph doubted Mary’s purity how much more would the neighbors.
  • Plans:  Before the favor showed up, she and Joseph already had things set in motion for their future marriage. But the impending birth threaten to bring her planned future to a halt.

As I meditate upon these three areas, I am reminded that Mary was not the only to face such assaults. Joseph had the favor of God but it lead to strained relationship with his own family members. So much so that they sold him into slavery. Of course, the favor followed him there as well. His run-in with Potiphar’s wife threatened his reputation.  And I can just imagine that as he sat in the pit and the prison that his vision of his life looked as if it would never come into fruition.

To be favored is a blessing but it is not void of cost.

17 Comments:

At December 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM , Blogger Joanne Sher said...

What a great reminder - and I LOVE your new header! SUPER last line.

 
At December 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

We watched "The Nativity" last night and the same message ran across my heart. What a joy to be favored. What a privilege and a walk that must be rooted in faith.

Have a joy filled, love overflow Christmas,
Sarah

 
At December 21, 2010 at 1:55 PM , Blogger welcome to my world of poetry said...

Some interesting issues raised here. Good to read.
Love the new header.

Yvonne.

 
At December 21, 2010 at 2:36 PM , Blogger BLUEBUTTERFLY said...

Ah, yes, so many times we forget about the cost in our zeal for the glory and honor of being favored. One does not come without the other.

 
At December 21, 2010 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Wanda,

BEAUTIFUL post (as well as a beautiful new layout for your blog). I love pondering the story of Mary and all that she did as well as Joseph and everyone involved in the birth of Jesus. SO much goes on, and sometimes I know I miss even the smallest of things. It's wonderful, as this season is, because of what it did to our lives for eternity.
Many blessings Sister in Christ.

JB

 
At December 21, 2010 at 2:53 PM , Blogger Sharon Kirby said...

Such true words, Wanda.

I really liked how you talked about the three areas where our obedience to God can really affect us - relationships, reputation, plans. One of my favorite poems is "Journey of the Magi" by T.S. Eliot. It speaks of the magi finding Jesus - and then they return to their own lands. It speaks how this "birth" caused "death" in their lives - because nothing could ever be the same again. It'a a thrilling prospect to be changed by the King, and a little unsettling, too.

The cost of discipleship is heavy - it requires death to self - but oh! The rewards of following...

I am reminded of Joseph's final evaluation of how his life had turned out:
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..."

Hope you have a wonder-FULL Christmas.

GOD BLESS!

 
At December 21, 2010 at 7:42 PM , Blogger Patrina's Pencil said...

Interesting thot about favor and not being void of "cost"

Thanks for sharing this.

Christmas Blessings, Wanda. thanks for being a good neighbor in 2010 :)

Patrina <")>><

 
At December 21, 2010 at 8:48 PM , Blogger lioneagle said...

Hi Wanda -

This is such truth! Thank you

Our Lord tells us that in order to reign with Him, we must suffer with Him. He further informs that in the world, we will have tribulation, but be of GOOD CHEER.

Your piece here puts things in perspective. Amen to truth.

 
At December 21, 2010 at 10:45 PM , Blogger Bernadine said...

Great post Wanda. I agree with Joanne I love that last line.

To be favored is a blessing but it is not void of cost.

I've always found it interesting that those who were favored by God never had an easy life. However God always orchestrated everything to work out in the end.

Thanks for sharing.

 
At December 22, 2010 at 7:11 AM , Blogger LisaShaw said...

Amen and Amen Wanda! Powerful message!

My friend, I pray a beautiful Christmas for you and your family! See you on the other side of Christmas!

Love and blessings!

 
At December 22, 2010 at 10:46 AM , Anonymous Andrea said...

Wow Wanda, this really does put a different spin on favor. We all want God's favor in our lives but could we handle it? I like how you show that Mary & Joseph got favor but endured hardship. I also like your reminder about Joseph who was favored by both his earthly and heavenly fathers. He was destined to rule over his brothers but his rise to prominence didn't come immediately. He went through many hardships. Now when I think about God's favor, I'm reminded that favor doesn’t always show on the outside but it does ultimately prevail.

 
At December 22, 2010 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Warren Baldwin said...

Linked from Lisa's. Good post. Hadn't thought about the significance of these changes for Mary.

Merry Christmas. wb

 
At December 22, 2010 at 1:10 PM , Blogger MTJ said...

Hi Wanda,

The last few days I have been meditating on Mary, Joseph and Jesus; but particularly Mary.

How difficult it must have been for her to be ostracised from her family. To not see her mother at a time when (even as an adult) Mary would seemingly most need her support. I think back to my mother-in-law standing there with my wife and I as she was about to deliver our firstborn. I had no idea what to say to my wife, but her mother knew exactly what to share, and moments later we had a son.

Mary on the other hand was relegated to a manger with no one but her husband and stock animals.

I agree that, "To be favored is a blessings but it is not void of cost."

I also want to take a moment to thank you for extending fellowship and friendship to me over these months. Your words have often asked me to answer questions which demand honesty. You write with a genuine sincerity and passion for Christ that serves as an example for me.

Sending you joy and blessing as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

MTJ

 
At December 22, 2010 at 3:20 PM , Blogger Wanda said...

MTJ, as often happens when you leave a comment, you've given me more to think about with Mary. Hadn't considered the impact of being away from her mother and other family members as she brought her son into the world. I've been strengthen, stretched, and encouraged by our fellowship and I look forward to more in the future. God bless.

Hi Warren, glad to have you stop over from Lisa's place. The great thing about the Christmas story or any part of the Bible is that it is constantly unfolding to us. I've read the story many times but only this time did the impact of Mary's yes really stand out to me. Hope you & yours enjoy a very Merry Christmas.

Andrea, yes can we stand to be favored by God. Much of our life is spent preparing us that we might walk into our favored/destined place, I believe.

Thank you Lisa, Wishing you & yours a wonderful Christmas season as well.

Thank you Bernadine. To the natural self it seems favor would mean you slide by in life but that's totally not the case as you've pointed out.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Sandra. I'm always blessed when you stop by. Hope you & your family enjoy a Merry Christmas.

Christmas blessings to you & yours Patrina.

Sharon, I'll have to look that poem up.

Thanks Jessica, there's always something new to discover in the Word.

One does not come without the other...oh so true Bluebutterfly.

Thanks Joanne and Yvonne. I'm so pleased with Robin's redesign.

"rooted in faith" ...AMEN Sarah

 
At December 22, 2010 at 7:37 PM , OpenID wisdomvirtueandrubies said...

Wanda this is a very insightful post. I really appreciate the revelation the Spirit of the Lord gave you regarding favor. You highlighted an aspect of Mary's assignment that I had not given much thought. We often think only of the positive aspects of God's favor, but it greatly benefits us to be reminded that His assignments, His favor come with great responsibility, great weight, and sometimes a side of discomfort. Thank you for sharing with us what the Lord shared with you.

 
At December 23, 2010 at 10:58 PM , Blogger Faith Imagined said...

I think none of us know the cost of favor. That's why I believe God only shows us a small portion of His plan for our lives in the beginning. If we knew all the costs, we might not even begin the journey with Him! I know I wouldn't!

With increased territory comes increased responsibility. So many of us want to have great influence, but we are not willing to pay the price.

Thanks for this post! I'm glad I came back to your blog to take a look-see. Merry Christmas!

 
At December 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM , Blogger Karen said...

Wonderful insight, Wanda. Have a very blessed 2011

 

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