In Luke 1, when the angel Gabriel suddenly appeared out of nowhere, Mary was probably no more than sixteen. As if the angel wasn’t terrifying enough, he also brought distressing news: she—still a virgin and engaged to be married—would soon become pregnant with the Son of the Most High God.
Talk about rocking your world! Things were different then, and Mary would not have been considered too young to become a mother, as Jewish women often became engaged in their teens. Yet Mary was understandably “confused and disturbed” (Luke 1:29). Just imagine being in her shoes…what would you say? To Joseph? To your parents? To anyone? I mean, angels only spoke to prominent people, right?
Yet Mary’s response to Gabriel revealed a remarkable faith and a humble heart: “I am the Lord’s servant,” she replied, “May everything you have said about me come true” (Luke 1:38).
To understand how astonishing Mary’s faith was, let’s take a moment to contrast her response with the responses of others (adults, no less) who God also called to do frightening tasks. For example, Moses and Gideon reacted with protests and excuses when God called them to lead His people and deliver them from their oppressors (Exodus 3–4; Judges 6–7).
On the other hand, when God offered Mary the opportunity to participate in His story of deliverance, she not only responded to God willingly, she also offered Him her heartfelt praise. Listen as Mary breaks out in song while visiting her cousin Elizabeth: “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!…For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me” (Luke 1:46-49).
The next time we’re faced with frightening circumstances, let’s turn to God in faith as Mary did, relying on God’s power instead of looking at our own limits, and join in her joyful song. • G. Kam Congleton
• When God invites us to be part of His good work of deliverance and restoration, it can often be frightening. Yet, through the Holy Spirit, He empowers us to do everything He calls us to do. There is great joy in saying “yes” to His invitations! How could Mary’s story, and the way God did seemingly impossible things in her life, give us courage when we face frightening situations?
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Luke 1:38a (NLT)