“Let it be done unto me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
This famous line from the Bible is spoken by Mary. It’s also known as Mary’s fiat – the immediate acceptance and consent to God’s will for her life. In latin, fiat means “let it be done.” We see this line when the Archangel Gabriel appears to her to tell her that she will conceive a son, born of the Holy Spirit, who will be great and his name will be Jesus. Of course, at first Mary is concerned. However, she finds the courage to say ‘yes’ to God’s plan. This is a trait we are all called to practice.
This line has always been my favorite line from the Bible. It’s beautiful in its simplicity yet powerful in its conviction. A long time ago I started to recite this line at the end of my prayers as I would ask God to let it be done unto me according to His will. It’s extremely difficult to live our lives according to God’s will for us. As human beings we naturally want control over things. However, the moment we let go and give it to God our lives change in the most beautiful way.
Why do we fear surrendering our lives to God? Why do we fear what he may ask of us? Why are we in desperate need to control every aspect of our lives? The most basic answer is because we’re human. As human beings we want to be in control of our lives. How can we let our lives be guided by someone else? Yet alone someone we can’t even see or speak with? It also comes down to the societal pressures placed on us. From a young age people ask us what we want to be when we grow up. Who truly knows at that point? We barely know who we are yet. Then in high school the pressure starts of getting into a good college and figuring out what you want to major in. In college you’re expected to find a great job right away and start a successful career. Do we ever take a moment to listen to what God is asking of us?
“Let it be done unto me according to your word.”
— Luke 1:38
The world around us says in order to be a productive member of society you have to make a lot of money, have a successful career with fancy titles, and constantly strive for more. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having a successful career. God could be calling you to that. However, what if God is calling you to something else? Something that goes completely against societal norms? Or maybe He just has something different planned for you that you’ve never thought of or imagined for your life? I believe this is where people struggle to truly surrender to God. We want control over our lives. We like to set plans, schedules and goals for ourselves. Again, all fine. But God doesn’t work on a 5-year plan. He works on His own perfect timing. For example, you may say that in 5 years you’ll have a baby. But, what if God wants you to have a baby in 2 years? If He wants it that way, it will happen. So will you accept God’s plan for you? Or refuse because it wasn’t what you had in mind? Another factor that impacts our ability to truly surrender to God’s will is that as humans we are attached to the things of this world, such as material goods. A life with Christ on the other hand, requires yourself to detach from these worldly things. We also get comfortable with where we’re at in life. If things are going well, we’re content, we get complacent. A life with Christ requires constant change because we’re called to evolve as people and strive to be more like Jesus. We can’t do that if we’re resistant to change.
Surrendering to God’s will is hard. It requires us to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, to be open to change, and be willing to humbly serve God in whatever He may ask. We have to remember that God has a plan for us. However, it may not be the exact plan we have for ourselves. God may still guide you to your ultimate end goal, but there may be some hurdles on the way. Each of these hurdles is placed with a purpose. What is that purpose? To help you grow in your faith. To trust in the Lord wholeheartedly. To grow in patience as you wait for God to guide you. To show our Lord that you rely on Him fully.
It’s difficult to let go of control, to say let it be done according to your will, because we want things to go our way. But the moment you let go of control, and let God take over, your life becomes one of peace, one of gratefulness, one of servitude to the Lord, one of humility, one of light because now God is working through you. He is taking you where He needs you to go so that you can be an instrument of His and glorify His name. You become a witness of faith, just like the disciples. You begin to see God’s presence in your life because you have opened up your heart, your mind, and your eyes to Him and you will see His blessings in every aspect of your life.
So I encourage you to start including this beautiful phrase from our Blessed Mother in your prayers. Don’t just simply say it but mean it, practice it, and live it. Have the courage to say ‘yes’ to God’s will for you so that you can walk on the path He has set out for you. Say ‘yes’ so that you can see how He will work in your life. Say ‘yes’ so that you can serve Him faithfully. Just say ‘yes.’