Mary: A Humbled and Surrendered Heart
A young teenage girl was greeted by a miraculous sight.
Belonging to a family in Nazareth, a quaint town situated between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean at Haifa. Nazareth was an isolated agricultural village with little importance or activity of any relevance.
Yet, here, with a light so holy she had to turn her face away, and the sound of a voice that penetrated her heart – Mary’s mundane life would never be the same.
The angel’s words echoed through her soul: “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!” Luke 1:28
What had she done to receive such incredible edification? And what does it all mean?
Obedience to the Voice of God
Has God ever asked you to do something that felt impossible?
Maybe you felt scared or even overwhelmed with disbelief in what was before you.
Well, my dear friend, you are in good company.
God was asking Mary to carry and birth the tiny newborn of heaven. And quite honestly, it was something that would cost Mary much.
I imagine that, at this moment, Mary was fearful, confused, and even disappointed.
Maybe she was scared of what Joseph, her family, and her community would say. After all, it wasn’t uncommon for women to be stoned to death for adultery, and this miraculous conception would certainly look that way.
Perhaps she questioned the possibility of it all.
Until that moment, she was well on her way to becoming Joseph’s wife. The idea of a future with him had brought many promises; however, things were about to quickly change.
The truth is, when God entrusts us with an opportunity, it will typically cost us something.
But when Jehovah Jireh asks, He will provide the boldness and courage we need to take the next step forward.
How God Strengthens in Times of Obedience
Obedience can be scary but fear not. Our Heavenly Father is aware of our fear and trepidation.
“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. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’” Luke 1:30-33 ESV
God sees how vast and impossible the mission of heaven can seem. He recognizes our humanness – our emotions, thoughts, and interpretations. He knows everything about us.
God reminds us to not be afraid, and He reminds us that we were chosen not because of anything we have accomplished but because we have found favor with Him.
And we can rest assured that He is faithful to provide every good thing needed to accomplish His plans.
What Does Mary Teach Us About Obedience?
Mary was a young teenage girl of lesser means and was unprepared to become a young mother. Mary was simply a humble woman who said yes to God.
What we can learn from Mary’s obedience is that we, too, may be surprised when God calls us. And it is most likely we will not feel prepared, but we can boldly accept the call knowing that God will provide. My prayer is that we will remember how Mary graciously responded to the call in these holy moments.
“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38 ESV
Our identities as Daughters allow us to be steadfast in the Kingdom of Heaven. As we remember who we are in Christ, our resolve will be strengthened, and our hearts will long to align with God as we surrender to His will and give glory to Him in praise.
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat, “And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.’” Luke 1:46-47 ESV.
In her humble status, Mary praised and thanked the Lord. Life as she knows it would soon be turned upside down, but Mary trusted her Lord, her Savior, and she knew full well just how much He loved her, and her heart remained grateful because of it.
What qualified Mary of Nazareth, a less than remarkable young woman, to be the mother of Jesus? Nothing. Yet she was chosen by God to fulfill a remarkable role, and she joyfully and obediently submitted to God’s will.
My prayer for you this Advent season is that you will unquestionably surrender to God’s calling. And in your surrender, might you joyfully lift your voice in praise, for we know that He calls the ordinary for the extraordinary!
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord as you serve with gladness! Psalm 100:1-2