Imagine how young Mary felt when the angel Gabriel appeared and said in Luke 1 “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”  We don’t have to imagine it because the bible tells us that “she was greatly troubled and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.”

So just like we would be, when the angel appeared she was troubled or frightened and didn’t understand. I think no matter what he might have said it would be troubling to Mary or to any of us. Then the angel said “Do not be afraid” which let us know that she was, and then he gave more information about God’s plan for her life. Here she was, a recently engaged young girl, planning her wedding and suddenly her life takes a drastic detour, but God is telling her that because she is favored and He is with her, everything will be okay. Then she questions the angel, how can this be? I am a virgin, so how can I have a baby, let alone the Son of God? I’m not even married. Gabriel explains in more detail in verses 35-38.  Finally, he reminds her that nothing is impossible with God.

I love the detail given here of Mary’s initial responses. She is afraid, she asks questions, and throughout the conversation, the angel Gabriel comforts, answers her questions, and explains what the Lord is doing. It’s a lot for her to process that in an instant her life has changed drastically. Of course, she is confused. When something unexpected happens in our lives we are allowed to be confused and even fearful. We’re allowed to honestly ask God for understanding and discernment. He wants us to cry out to Him in our confusion and be honest with our feelings. Then He can begin to comfort us and restore our hope. When we cry out to Him, it’s a sign that we believe he is at work in all things and sovereign over all our circumstances.

I remember being in shock, confusion, and fear after receiving a cancer diagnosis ten years ago. Yet, he gave Psalm 139 to comfort me and restore my hope. I had memorized it years before when my husband was deployed in the Gulf War, so I immediately went there and found my peace restored in God’s word. It reminded me that no matter what the circumstances, he was with me, and knew me from before I was completely knit together in my mother’s womb. He was with me! He was with Mary, and He is with you! You are his precious child, and no one loves you more than God.

Finally, Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” We might not completely understand God’s plan, but we can surrender control and trust that he has a perfect one. May we be servants trusting God’s will as best in hardship and blessing just as Mary did.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

Subscribe to the Daily Fill