Advent reading: Luke 1:26 – 38
I can’t imagine what a rush of questions and confusion was going through Mary’s head when this fearsome angelic being appears to give her the news. “Surprise! You’re going to have a son. His name will be Jesus and:
- He will be great
- He will be called the Son of the Highest
- He will be given the throne of David
- He will reign over the house of Jacob forever
- His kingdom will never end.”
What a startling birth announcement!
But what about…
She interjects with the obvious question – the elephant in the room. “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
It seems that Zacharias asked a similar question when this very same Gabriel appeared to him and told him he was going to have a son named John (the Baptist).
And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years” (Luke 1:18).
But Zacharias was struck mute because he did not believe. And Mary is not.
She believes even though she’s confused and uncertain as to how God will carry out His plan with the obvious impediments in His way. But she believes somehow He will.
Believing Without Seeing the Whole Picture
How often we are like Zacharias. We read of God’s promises in the Bible but we can’t see how He’s going to work them out in our lives. And because we can’t see, we don’t believe He will.
But Mary believed. She believed that “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
The birth of a son to a virgin seemed implausible. Impossible.
Except that nothing is impossible with God when He says He’s going to do something.
So when He promises to be with you (Matthew 28:20), to hear you when you pray (1 John 5:14-15), to work out all things for your good (Romans 8:28) and any of the other promises He makes to you in His word, you can believe Him even though you don’t understand how He’s going to come through for you on that promise or what it will even look like when He does.
The Blessing Comes from Believing
Mary packs her bags and goes to talk to her cousin Elizabeth, who has conceived a child well into her menopausal years. Elizabeth knows all about this God of the impossible.
And when Elizabeth sees Mary, she exclaims, “Blessed is she who believed!” because she knows the unnecessary sorrow that comes from doubting God’s word. God still accomplished His purposes in hers and Zacharias’ life, but they missed out on some of the blessing He had intended for them.
The blessing comes from believing.
Whatever your doubts, whatever your fears, whatever your circumstances, may you let go of the outcome and trust God to work out His purposes in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. And as you battle hard to trust Him more – to believe – may you experience the blessing of believing.