I bet you've been there before. Maybe you're there now...staring down some big thing that's being asked of you, feeling a gentle nudge in your spirit to step forward into something scary and unknown.
Or maybe God doesn't do nudges with you. Maybe God repeatedly hits you over the head with things until you agree to them.
Either way, have you been in that place where you stand in front of the thing you don't want to do, and you take a deep breath, and you fully intend to say "no, God, not this time..." but "yes" comes out instead?
Or have you gathered all of your courage up and faced the thing you want most to avoid, squared your shoulders, opened your mouth, and all you could manage was a tiny, squeaky "ok, I'll try" ?
The thing is? There's grace for those kinds of yesses, too. Not all of us are going to break into song after we get some angelic message notifying us of what's ahead. Not all of us are going to confidently reply, "Let it be done to me according to your word."
But God knows that.
God can work through the shakiest yes. Even a tiny, hesitant whispered yes is enough for Him. He can take it and run with it and work mighty things through it. Through you. Because when you say "yes," no matter how small a yes it is, you become His partner- His co-creator. You become part of the way God is working in the world.
We don't have any guarantee that Mary's voice was strong and clear as she gave her assent to the angel. Maybe her voice quavered. Maybe her knees shook. Maybe her hands felt sweaty or her head light. We don't know how much she had to set aside to tell God yes. What we do know is that she did it.
And that's what it comes down to. It isn't about how we feel. We're human, and we are not perfectly in tune with the will of God every day. But God knows that! Who knows it better than God? He created us, we let Him down, and He still gives us chances to be part of His story. He still welcomes our participation in showering love on the world. He still wants us to be in this with him.
All we need to say is "yes."
Even if our voices shake.