By CFFM Staff
What would you do if God asked you to be a part of a miracle that, while absolutely amazing, was going to flip your life upside down – and at times make it extremely difficult? Mary, who became the mother of Jesus Christ, kept it simple:
…Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. – Luke 1:38 KJV
…I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever He wants. May everything you said come true. – Luke 1:38 LNT
This was her reply to the angel Gabriel, who had just explained that she was going to have a son, fathered by the ‘Holy Spirit coming upon’ her, and that this holy child would be called the Son of the Most High. Gulp.
This proclamation was to a young woman, likely a teenager, who was engaged and had never been a mother before. In today’s culture, even though it’s much more accepted for women to have babies outside of marriage, there can still be a stigma or shame that accompanies that decision.
In Mary’s time? Forget about it. This was when sheets were still hung outside marital tents to prove the wife was a virgin, and women could be stoned for adultery. The gospel writer Matthew describes Joseph, her fiancé, as a just and upright man who refused to shame her publicly when he found out his wife-to-be was pregnant.
Yet, this just man was still planning to divorce Mary before an angel of the Lord explained to him what really happened and his role to play in the story of the Savior of the World.
Add to this the pressure of raising a child in general (new moms have said no matter how much you prepare, it’s always a learning curve with kids), and raising a child who will one day fulfill the prophecy of a never-ending kingdom. Wow. That’s a lot to take on your shoulders.
When in Doubt – Praise!
But not only does Mary say, okay, do with me what you will, the next section of Luke is what’s commonly called her ‘magnificat.’ That’s a religious term for a section of Scripture where she pours out her heart in PRAISE to God! She is full of praise and honor for the Lord that is giving her this difficult task and putting her smack dab in the middle of history.
Mary doesn’t question (aside from to ask exactly how she would become pregnant without a man), doesn’t complain, doesn’t freak out. She just says yes, I will do what you ask me to do, and then praises God for His mercy and regarding the low estate of his handmaiden!
While Mary’s life was definitely not easy from that point, it was full of joy and purpose and miracles. Her sacrifice and heart still has an impact on the world today – and will forever because of the Son of God she helped raise, Jesus Christ.
How about you, fellow believer? What is your response when God – whether through His Word or a personal request – asks you to do something difficult? May your answer be with the same heart of sacrifice and attitude of praise as Mary. May you experience the same joy and purpose that overflowed out of her life.
To God be the glory!