I love Luke's account of Mary's encounter with Gabriel found in Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel appears to Mary and says, "Greetings, you who are highly favored ! The Lord is with you."
Wow. What a greeting! Can you imagine...God sends you a message expressing His HIGH favor on your life?
Mary's response is similar to how I respond when God surprises me with His blessing. Scripture says "Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be."
I guess it's easier to believe in the messages "You're not good enough." "You're a failure!" "You're a loser..." than it is to believe "You are highly favored!"
But the angel says to Mary, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God." And then proceeds to share Mary's call to birth the SAVIOR of the WORLD! WOW. Now talk about a calling.
I love Mary's response: "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
Her question was filled with wonder, not doubt. She didn't question what impact her calling would have on her. She didn't complain. She simply wondered how...
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God...For nothing is impossible with God."
At that, Mary responds, "I am the Lord's servant." "May it be to me as you have said."
Oh that we would all have that kind of faith...Where we surrender our questions, fears, doubts and simply pray..."I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as YOU have said."
Today we need to ponder and ask ourselves "What blessing and calling is God whispering to us? In our marriage? In our finances? In our job, ministry, family? What cross has He called us to bear?
For the rest of Mary's life, she would face ridicule, judgement, accusations...She would flee for her life and the life of her son...She would watch as Jesus was crucified...feel grief, doubt, and bewilderment...Hadn't the angel said her son would deliver and save Israel?
Friends, we all face moments where God's promise is tested with the cold realities of loss, doubt, and fear. We all experience moments when what we thought God said is tested against the realities of our experience. In those moments, the only thing we can do is remember WHO God is and HOLD FAST to what He promised. We must choose to surrender our thoughts to His, our ways for His, and let our HOPE reside in the truth that GOD is faithful and HIS VERY ESSENCE is LOVE!
Jeremiah 29:11-12 reveals God's nature and plans for our life: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
He whispers, "You are my children." "You are mine." "Come unto me." "Lean not on your own understanding."
He calls us to serve. He calls us to love. He calls us to take up our cross and follow Him.
May our response always be one of surrender and complete confidence..."Be it unto me as YOU have spoken."