The announcement from the angel Gabriel had been made: Mary was highly favored by God and she had been chosen to carry and birth God’s Son who would rule forever.
I think that personally, I would be overwhelmed and speechless at this point. How does one process that humongous message?
Mary had only one question, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
She made no complaints and she didn’t appear to be fearful—though in most of our minds, she had plenty of room for both. She stood to lose everything: her future husband, her parents, her home and even her life. The typical penalty for an unmarried girl who got pregnant was death by stoning. But none of that was voiced. She just asked in wonder, “How will this work, since I’m a virgin?”
I love the way The Message describes Gabriel’s response:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.
And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."
I have to pause and ask myself, “Do I really… I mean really, really believe that ‘nothing is impossible with God?’”
Oh yes, I believe He is powerful. He can do anything He wants. I believe He is all-knowing and all-seeing and all-around, but do I really believe that in my life “nothing is impossible with God?” If so, how does that impact how I live?
Clearly Mary believed it because her response was:
“Yes, I see it all now:
I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.”
Mary never looked at what she stood to lose. She lived life believing God and moving forward. That is so cool!
Paul, who wrote the book of Philippians, lived his life believing God too. Look what he says chapter 3:
“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him…
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back.” (Philippians 3:7-14)