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We all experience the fear and unsettledness of a troubled heart. But the crux of the matter is, does this trouble cause a reaction or offer a response?

Herod’s troubled heart reacted to the unexpected threat to his position. Unchecked, this paranoia leads him to deception and furious, impulsive violence. This reactive rage leads him to murder innocent children to protect himself. He missed the opportunity to worship and acknowledge Jesus as king.

Zechariah’s troubled heart reacts to Gabriel’s news with facts and logistics. We have no child. We are old, and Elizabeth is advanced in years. Only facts. And because of his unbelief, he is silenced until John arrives.

Mary’s troubled heart responds with worship and wonder. Her question of “How can this be?” is full of awe and hope. She surrenders and becomes the witness of the impossible being possible with God.

  • · When your heart is troubled, who do you resemble? Herod, Zechariah, or Mary?

  • · Do you lie, question, or surrender and worship?

  • · Like paranoid Herod, does deception and hate feed and drive your reactions (remember, Jesus said hate is akin to murder, Matthew 5:21-22)?

  • · Like facts-only Zechariah, do concrete obstacles hinder your trust in the power of God?

  • · Like surrendered Mary, will your troubled heart lead to wonder and awe for the impossibilities of God?

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