My soul magnifies the Lord. Luke 1:46
Words of faith do not originate from a vacuum. What spills out during the times when I am stretched to my limit reflects the kind of faith I have previously cultivated. A well known bible teacher said, “Who I am when hard times hit is really who I am.” True! The words I speak during my most painful moments are mirrors that reflect the foundation of my life. Hannah endured the scourge of barrenness. When the divine hand of God finally touched her, she delivered a famous discourse that spanned a dozen verses. It is one of the most prophetic passages in all of scripture.
Elizabeth also suffered the heartache of being childless, yet through it, she also cultivated her faith. She learned the Word of God, built the precepts of it into the fabric of her life, and when God visited her with a child in her old age, she also rose to prophesy. (And, she was the first to recognize the Messiah, though just a 3 month-old baby in Mary’s womb!)
Eloquence is not confined to adults. Mary was merely a teenager when an angel visited her. Given a task that would have crushed most grownups, she also rose up to deliver the famous Magnificat. The fact that such words could flow from a twelve-year-old is an indication that her childhood was also spent learning the scriptures. She didn’t just speak shallow words of praise. She also highlighted the ‘ways of God’ that could only be known by one who had reviewed God’s dealings with His people throughout Israel’s history.
Human nature wants to coast during the good times, only drawing close to God when the fires of adversity get hot. God is gracious and will certainly answer us whenever we cry out for help, but there is a better way. I can fortify my heart today by the choices I make with my time. If I make sure to feed my spirit through careful study of the Word of God, through listening in prayer, through deliberate searching of God’s heart in matters great and small, I create a storehouse of spiritual food that will serve me well when there’s famine. When hunger and thirst visit my front door, I will not be shocked to no longer hear hopeless and fearful words come out of my mouth. What spills out will be the sweet waters of faith.
I walk in the shoes of Hannah, of Elizabeth, and of Mary. Their footsteps are easy to see, but hard to follow, yet I choose their narrow path. In Jesus’ name, Amen