I’m currently working my way through the book of Luke with some ladies from church. Over the last two sessions we have been looking at the stories of the miraculous events surrounding the births of John the Baptist, and Jesus. I’ve been particularly struck by the difference between the reactions of those visited by the angel: Zechariah, and then Mary. (You can read the story in Luke chapter 1)
Zechariah responds to the staggering news that he will finally become a father, though he and his wife are old and infertile, by saying “How can I be sure of this?” And we are told that his speech is taken away because of his unbelief in God’s promise.
Mary, on receiving the amazing news that despite her virginity, she will conceive a child, responds by saying ” I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”
These simple words have not left my mind for a week!
Mary has just received life altering news, this pregnancy will change the course of the life she has been expecting and planning for! She is engaged to be married – how will her fiancé react? How will her family receive the news? How will such a thing be received by the close knit religious community that she is a part of? She faces a broken engagement, loss of reputation, possibly even death.
This news changes everything. And yet Mary immediately submits her will, her plans, her worries, and her questions to the will of God in a few simple words!
God uses her in a mighty way as part of his plan of salvation, and she becomes the mother of Jesus Christ!
How often my own reactions fall short of this trusting acceptance and servanthood, when God steps in to alter my short sighted plans.
At best I react with grudging acceptance, and at worst with distrust or anger. How I long to be like Mary! To know that I am the Lord’s servant, and that he is faithful. To react with joy and trust when he directs my path, even when I don’t know where he is leading.
I pray that God will do his work in me, that my identity will always, and fore-mostly be as his willing servant. And my answer to his every command “May it be to me as you have said.”