It seems like only yesterday, but forty-one years ago, during my senior year of college, I sat across from a woman I didn’t know. She confirmed what I feared with her announcement. “You’re pregnant.”
I stared at her as she continued to talk, but I remember nothing of what she said. Only questions flooded my mind, drowning out her words. I still had two quarters before I graduated and then at least one more year of school to earn my teaching credential. How would a baby fit into that? What would Van say? We talked about getting married, but we weren’t even engaged yet. I walked out of the clinic dazed and unsure.
While I wish we had done things God’s way from the beginning, He faithfully worked out the details of our lives. (You can read a little more of that story here.)
Christmas tells the story of another unmarried, unprepared girl hearing the announcement of an unplanned pregnancy (Luke 1:26-38). Mary didn’t sit in a clinic, afraid some stranger would tell her what she already knew.
Without warning, in the middle of an ordinary day, God sent His angel, Gabriel, with a greeting that surprised and troubled Mary,
Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:28)
Not surprisingly, Mary didn’t understand. This unexpected visitor, even with his greeting meant to reassure, frightened and confused her. What could he mean? The angel’s next words didn’t help.
Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:30-33)
Only One Question
And then, despite the fear and confusion, the millions of questions that must have filled Mary’s mind, she asked only one.
How will this be, since I am a virgin? (Luke 1:34)
Only One Answer
Gabriel gave Mary the details. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary would conceive the Son of God. And he added,
For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
Only One Response
Did that one answer dispel all of the questions? Mary’s response shows whole-hearted faith,
I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said. (Luke 1:38)
Gabriel didn’t offer a list of solutions. No details about what to do or how to do it. Still, Mary believed God could do the impossible. She left the details to Him, her heart open to whatever He planned, completely trusting Him to work everything for good.
I want a faith like that. Whole-hearted. Surrendered. Knowing without a doubt that God does the impossible.
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