Have you ever tried to put yourself in Mary’s shoes? She was part of a poor and devout Jewish family. She was engaged to be married to a young man who was not rich, but who would take good care of her. Times were tough for the Jews at this point in history. They were looked down upon by the Romans and treated abusively by the soldiers. People feared when the soldiers rode into town. They would demand more taxes than the people could pay. As a result, at times the soldiers would steal their daughters making them slaves as payment. Certainly, it was their longing to have the Messiah come and rescue them.
One day, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a son who would be called “the Son of the Most High,” and He would be given the throne of his father David (see Luke 1:32). Not surprisingly, Mary questioned how this could be since she was a virgin. God told her that this child would be God’s son “for nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Mary’s response to this news was amazing! “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). How many of us would respond this way? God had just given her news that would rock her world. She would know that her family would be shamed when the community found out she was pregnant. In fact, in her culture, the men should stone her for getting pregnant outside of marriage. Her fiancé would surely leave her. Her world would be crushed. But Mary never indicated any fear of these consequences. In faith she trusted God, even though circumstantially things did not look so good.
We are told that Joseph’s first thought was to break the engagement. Others’ lack of support for Mary’s faith and God’s plan must have been heartbreaking. At least one relative, Elizabeth, recognized God’s plan and acknowledged Mary’s amazing faith. “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:45).
God knows our hearts. He knows how much we can handle. Sometimes, He asks us to do more than we think we can accomplish. This is because He wants us to learn that with Him all things are possible. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Ask the Lord to show you who your “Elizabeth” is; one who can encourage your faith and walk with you through your challenging time of trusting God’s plans. The Lord has provided the body of Christ to help you stay strong in your faith. Remember, we are servants of God, here to do His will. Trust Him to do the impossible!
- Sue Corl (From her book Broken but Undefeated - Journeying Through the Hall of Faith)