I knew this girl who was engaged to a great guy. It seemed like it was meant to be and we were all looking forward to a beautiful wedding. However just before they got married, he found out that she was pregnant and the baby was not his. And then she had the audacity to claim that an angel had told her it was the will of God
Right… How could it possibly be the will of God? Everyone was scandalised by the news. Yet, it was precisely the will of God for Mary.
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” Luke 1:26-30 (ESV)
Mary was just an ordinary girl – an ordinary girl who made an extraordinary choice. This ordinary girl was so troubled when the angel Gabriel visited her that he had to tell her, “Do not be afraid”. Could you blame her? A virgin giving birth was just not logical. Yet Mary decided to trust God even when it did not make sense. She made the choice not to be afraid of the will of God.
To say that Mary and Joseph were inconvenienced is an understatement. Saddled with the social stigma of being an unwed mother for nine months. Whispers followed Joseph, murmuring that his fiancée had been unfaithful. They were threatened with the possibility of being stoned to death, for that was the custom of that day for one who was with child outside of marriage. And all around them people accused, “There is no way a virgin can conceive. There is no scientific basis for this.”
If anyone had a right to give God an excuse, it was Mary and Joseph. The will of God was not only inconvenient—it would potentially cost them their reputation, their families and possibly their lives. It was an interruption to their plans of happily ever after.
The purpose of God will differ from our plans. What we see as an interruption, God means as an invitation. It is an invitation to a higher calling, to greatness and to soar with eagle’s wings. It is an invitation to be a part of His plan. He gives us His word that his plan will be much better than ours!
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
So how do we respond to the call of the unknown? We take our cue from Mary.
Mary may have been a young girl but her response was anything but immature. His interruption seemed confusing and His will seemed impossible, but she let the outcome be God’s responsibility. She realised that her responsibility was obedience. Our responsibility is obedience.
“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (ESV)
A servant trusts the Master. Maybe you are struggling through life right now. You cannot seem to master it. You worry about your future, your finances, your family and what the people around you are thinking. You struggle because your faith is in yourself, your problems and all the uncertainties. You do not realise it, but you have fear. Fear is placing our faith in the what-ifs; it is placing our faith in the worst-case scenarios.
Try trusting in the Master for a change. The interruption you are facing in life right now is His invitation to you.
Do not be afraid of the will of God.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (ESV)