So here’s Mary, probably 14-16 years old; not yet married but engaged to Joseph, a carpenter. Ordinary girl. Ordinary life. Engaged to a very ordinary man. I’m sure that together they were looking forward to living a very ordinary life together.
Then an angel appears to Mary and gives her some surprising news. First, the angel tells her that she is highly favored by God. Mary must have been surprised because I’m sure she did not think of herself as anything special. You have to wonder if in her mind she was thinking, “Who? Me?”
Second, the angel tells her that she will be pregnant. This time Mary voices her concern–“Who me? But I’ve never been with a man!” The angel them explains that Mary has been chosen for a “special assignment” of sorts. That is, she would be a surrogate mother for the child that God was going to send to earth. The Bible gives Mary’s immediate response, though I can’t help but wonder if she spent a moment or two considering the implications of this task. Regardless, though, in the end Mary’s faithful response is clear–“Whatever the Lord wants, I’m willing.”
What if Mary had been unwilling?
What if Mary had said,
“Wait, what will Joseph think? Maybe I should discuss this with him first.”
“But I’m only a young girl, I’m not ready to have a child!”
“What will my family and my friends think?”
“Wait, don’t you know that I could be stoned to death for this?”
“I haven’t even begun living my life yet–there so many things I want to do!”
She could have said a lot of things, but she didn’t. “Okay, I’m willing” was her response. God has never asked me to bear a child (good thing, being a man and all), but I know I find myself questioning God all the time on much smaller things.
Lord, grant me the faith of Mary, to listen and obey in faith; even when understanding is lacking. Let my first goal not be the betterment of my own life and circumstances, but the will of God being done on earth. Let my first response always be, “Okay, Lord, I am willing.”