Luke 1:46-48: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.”
Mary must have worried and fretted over this news from the angel: Why was God doing this to her? What would people think when she began to show that she was pregnant? How would she tell Joseph? Her heart must have just died when Joseph told her he had decided to divorce her.
We are very quick to buy into an anxious line of thinking concerning Mary. We do so because we know how we would very likely respond to her situation.
And while I can appreciate how someone might worry about a plan that entails a never before heard of event (like having a child when there’s been no sexual activity), it’s also important not to make unwarranted assumptions and read something into the text!
What does the Bible reveal about Mary’s mindset? Luke 1:26-29 tells us that Mary was “troubled” by Gabriel’s words and “ponders” the nature of his greeting. Immediately in verse 30, Gabriel tells Mary, “Do not be afraid because you have found favor with God.”
From this point on, and in relation to this event and her immediate future, there is no indication that Mary is troubled, worried, anxious, or afraid. In verse 34-35, Mary does ask Gabriel something about the mechanics of how she will bear a son since she is a virgin. Gabriel simply tells her that the Holy Spirit will be the creative agent who will cause the conception to take place because “nothing will be impossible with God.”
For Mary, Gabriel’s direct and simple answer is enough!
She sets her heart to believe what God has said to her through Gabriel, and she is determined to be content in God’s will for her life. “Great Heart” is on the scene in verse 38 when Mary says, “let it be with me according to your word.”
That is what faith does; it chooses to find its rest in God’s word and in his will. Mary chooses to “consider” (cf. James 1:2) this situation as being from her Lord who loves her and intends his best for her. Please read her full response in Luke 1: 46-56!
Mary’s faith-filled response is one that takes practice. Our hearts will not go where hers went unless we choose worship as the best courses of action in the midst of trial.
As hard as it might be on the front end, if you train yourself to rehearse the promises of God, to praise and worship him for his mighty deeds in creation and in the salvation of his people, all right in the midst of the trial, you will look back on the other end and say, “Wow, that’s just what I needed. Why did it take me so long to get there?”
Henry Beaulieu is associate pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Statesboro.