It is so amazing how familiar scriptures can suddenly bring on new meaning. I had one of those lightbulb moments not long ago when I was reading the story of Mary in Luke 1. In my mind it goes something like this:
Mary is doing her daily chores and suddenly this angel appears. He tells her how favored she is and she wonders what that means. (Frankly, I think I may have been totally speechless.) Then he tells her whatthat means. (By this point I would be thinking – unmarried women with child are stoned in my town! I doubt I would have even heard the rest of the sentence.)
Mary’s first response is, “How can this be?” (We all know what she was thinking at this point…and I am not sure the angel’s explanation would be very satisfying.)
Mary’s next response blows me away: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (This young woman had a trust of the Lord far beyond my imagination! Really now, what would you have said?)
I can’t begin to visualize what those next months must have been like for Mary. We have the Joseph – her husband – thing; the pressure of society around her; and then the beautiful encounter with Elizabeth. Mary must have been one very amazing teenage gal! No wonder God picked her.
Elizabeth says it this way: “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Again, the faith of this young woman named Mary is astounding, but her final response it what really blew me away:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name.”
Again, I could not help but compare her response to what would be going on in my own head. The Lord has put her in one of the most disgraceful and dangerous positions in her society, yet she is able to not only look past her personal problem, but even magnify and praise Him for it. She truly sees what we would view as trouble and considers it a triumph.
As I chewed on this for a while, I realized that all of us have this kind of opportunity placed before us. Oh, no, not to be the mother of our Lord Jesus, but to answer, “Yes,” to His call – whatever it may be – and to do it with a joyful spirit; a spirit within us that trusts Him to know best and a determination that He will empower us to fulfill it; a spirit that chooses to bring Him glory at whatever the cost.
Honestly, I’m not there yet, but I am a willing work in progress. How about you?