She was just 13 or 14 years old and tradition says that she was gathering water at the well near town. An angel appeared to her and told her something wonderful was going to happen. The text says that it scared her and that she was troubled. How about you? What if God sent an angel who would talk to you as you got out of your car tonight? How would you feel? How you handle it all is a matter of faith and trust. It is one of the reasons that we admire Mary. God can have great plans, but He often uses people to make the plans work.
My first question if approached like Mary would be “Is it worth it?” What God was asking of Mary was going to be difficult. People would think of her as an unwed mother and sinner. She would bear their ridicule and scorn. She was taking on a great task from God himself to raise the “Son of the most high”. It would not be an easy task. We often voice our questions. We are afraid when someone asks us to teach Sunday school or to be on the church council. Too often we can make a list of excuses about everything under the sun. Something is not the way that we want it. We look at the bother that it will cause in our life. We just wonder if it is going to be worth all the bother or if we will work hard and have no results. Really, is it worth it?
My second question reflects Mary’s one question “How can this be?” While she is asking with faith for instructions on how God can do this, I often wonder if it can be done. I applaud Mary for asking details so that she can be a part of the miracle. She is asking logistical questions as she commits herself to being part of a miracle. When God lays the big task out for us, our natural question is how? Can God really do what He was saying? In our mind, we know that God can do all things. We know in our mind that he can, but will he? We don’t want to be left holding the bag. We don’t want to put all that effort in it and have nothing happen. The challenge for me is to trust God like Mary does.
It all comes down to trust. Mary was God’s servant and was ready to do the impossible. I wonder how much she really understood what was going to happen and how much was pure faith. I often find that when God calls us to do something, He often doesn’t give us the full answer about what will happen or how. He just sketches things out and tells us that the details will come later. Trust me! Saying yes is more about believing in God than it is accepting that things can be done. Through the miracle, our faith will grow and we will be able to say yes to other things God proposes. The two questions will never truly be answered. The only question we have to wrestle with is whether we believe God can do the miracle He is asking us to be part of.