“How Can This Be?” Echoes of the Ages

“How can this be?” Mary asked when Gabriel told her she was miraculously pregnant with the Messiah. Her husband Joseph must also have asked “How can this be?” when he discovered her pregnancy — and who she was pregnant with! Then it was Mary’s turn again: “How can this be?” when Joseph died and became a widow with young children. 

Mary wasn’t the only one who found herself baffled at inconceivable — sometimes devastating — events. 

“How can this be?” asked Sarah and Abraham after years of not conceiving a child despite God’s promise of descendants as numerous as stars in the sky. “How can this be?” asked Moses at the border of the Promised Land, into which he would never step foot. “How can this be?” asked Hadassah, an orphan Jewish girl thrust into the Persian kingdom, trained to be Queen Esther, and asked to risk her life in order to save all the Jews who were under orders to be killed.

“How can this be?”

You are not alone if you’ve asked this question in the past. You are definitely not alone if you’re asking it now! Do you feel confused, anxious, frustrated and even angry? Are you worried about your family’s health, your community’s welfare, your country’s future? You are not alone. 

“How Can This Be?” Echoes of the Ages
How Can I Be?

I have a  feeling you’ve asked this question before. Maybe you asked “How can this be?” when your child died or your partner betrayed you. Maybe you asked “How can this be?” after losing a beloved parent, childhood home, or important job.

Maybe you even asked “How can this be?” after praying with all your heart for something good and God-glorifying, such as a miraculous healing or family blessing. You prayed, but God didn’t provide.

It’s normal to feel baffled and betrayed when bad things happen. It’s healthy to go to God and say “How can this be?” when something awful or sad happens. Jesus did it. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane before he was crucified, knelt, and asked for the cup to be removed. 

I don’t know if Jesus asked “How can this be?” like his mom did. I do know how Jesus responded to reality, though. “Not my will, but yours.”

“How can you be?”

Ask your questions and express your emotions, but don’t camp there for long. Allow God to be God; let yourself be the vulnerable, dependent child you are. You are not in control and you never were! Instead dwelling in empty hollow of “How can this be?” join me in the land of “How can I be?”

I can be the child who trusts, relaxes, and lives with a sense of curiosity and wonder. I can be the girl whose faith is so real that she sees the world clearly but isn’t drawn into the abyss. I can be the woman who is joyful and resilient, accepting and free despite external disappointments and disasters — and even despite internal bouts of grief, confusion, doubt, and frustration.

And I can be the writer who inspires and encourages, shares and uplifts.

How can you be? 

The more you think, talk and even write about how you can be, the more you become that person. You become what you think and talk about — just like that old “you are what you eat” saying. 

If you aren’t already what you think you can be, you will slowly become it if you keep thinking it. How’s that for a brain teaser? 🙂 

With love,



Travel in Faith and Blossom

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2 thoughts on ““How Can This Be?” Echoes of the Ages”

  1. Thank you Laurie for this post “Not my will but yours.” It is so liberating to rely on God’s will and allow myself to let go. I like what you said “Ask your questions and express your emotions, but don’t camp there for long.” So real, so true, such a good advise. I love your post, it gave me positive feelings. Thank you so much.

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