These were the words spoken by Gabriel to Mary informing her that she was going to have a baby:
The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the most high will overshadow you.
An interruption. An unplanned pregnancy. A divine conception.
God does that a lot.
Besides babies, He births other things in us. Things that we didn’t plan or come up with. He interrupts our life for a divine purpose by impregnating us with a dream and a vision. He creates a mission and calls us to do things that we’re not capable of doing in our own strength. Like Mary, our own capabilities are insufficient to carry out the tasks of heaven.
What is it that God has called you to do? What do you need his divine power for?
I know for me writing my next book, Forgiving Men, is definitely a task I need his power for. It’s a book I’m excited about writing, but it wasn’t my idea. I had another book I wanted to start, but God has I way of stepping in and interrupting our plans. My next assignment is a task that makes me recognize my inability to carry out his will.
Just because I write doesn’t mean any topic flows onto the keyboard with ease. In order to share my story and write about the trauma so other women can relate, I’ve had to draw from the pain that has since dissolved. It’s been hard to articulate emotions that have now evaporated. To write about something so painful I had to step outside of the shelter for a moment. Because, like Mary, it was His grace that empowered me to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
His divine presence kept me. Saved me. Overshadowed me. The word overshadow used in Luke 1:35 comes from a Greek word, episkiazō, that means to cast a shade upon, i.e. (by analogy) to envelope in a haze of brilliancy; (figuratively. In other words the haze wasn’t visible with the human eye, but those with spiritual eyes could see it) to invest with preternatural influence.
Episkiazō is used five times in the New Testament. It’s used in reference to Jesus but also in reference to Peter. The power of the Most High so enveloped Peter that others were healed by his mere shadow.
Selah. That’s too awesome for words.
What do you need to be enveloped in his power for? If you’re going through difficulties, may I encourage you? Your pain is not in vain. God has great purpose for all things unplanned. It’s His specialty.
1 Peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends do not be surprised if the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
Joy is like a seed. Joy is God’s intended outcome for our suffering. It’s the fruit. It’s the towering tree that grows after the seed has been planted. But let me say this. If a seed stays in a package, it’ll never be able to grow. It has to be taken out of the package, planted in soil, exposed to a dark place for a season, and often along with stinky manure, in order to grow. But the soil, the darkness, and the manure all work together to cause something powerful to rise.
Hardship and difficulties are like manure. They stink. But God takes a seed of joy and plants it among difficulties to develop strong roots. He wants to grow something beautiful in your life.
Just like He did for Mary.
His shadow and a divine interruption makes all things beautiful.