Advent Devotional: Magnify

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Luke 1:46 (ESV)

My friend Palmer Trice, a great Christian counselor, once told me something that I will always remember.  He said that Christmas is a magnifier for most people. If things are good in your life, then Christmas tends to magnify that goodness.  It moves things from good to great. A good family becomes great. A good party becomes great. A good memory becomes a great one. Christmas magnifies the good.

On the other hand, Christmas can magnify what is difficult.  Christmas can make struggles seem more difficult. Financial stress, which is tough any time of year, becomes unbearable in December.  Fractured relationships often become full breaks during the holidays. Loneliness, which is a battle for some all year long, becomes a full blown Pearl Harbor.

Magnify means to make something bigger than it appears to our eyes.  Binoculars and telescopes are used to bring objects far away, closer.  Magnifying what we are looking at doesn’t make what we are looking at bigger, but helps us to see them as they really are.  

Mary could have chosen a thousand fears to magnify.  Rather than allowing her mind to drift to uncertainties and unknowns, she reflected on what she did know.  More importantly, she focused on what knew about God. Her God was:

  • “The Mighty One who has done great things for me…” (Luke 1:49)
  • Merciful (Luke 1:50)
  • The One who “has lifted up the humble…” (Luke 1:52)
  • A God who “Has filled the hungry…” (Luke 1:52)
  • Faithful to His promises (Luke 1:54)

Mary gives us a great lesson on what to magnify.  When we get unexpected news, what do we magnify? Our circumstances, situations and dilemmas? Or will we magnify the Lord?

This Christmas (and every day afterwards), make God a bigger part of your life.  How would your life be different if you allowed his plans to consume your thinking?  How would your life be different if His presence was the greatest present in your life?