Ever since having children of my own, my heart has been drawn toward that of Mary's. She may have lived long ago, but I think of her often. Y'all! I can't even begin to wrap my mind around what this woman experienced. The birth of any child is miraculous, but that of Jesus? The savior of the human race? I've experienced an unmedicated birth - thanks for that Eve - since Finley arrived before I had time to even pop an Advil, but I choose to believe Mary's labor was painless. Of course I have no biblical backing on this, but she did birth Jesus after all.
I promise this post has greater depth than my misguided assumptions on Mary's labor, so let's back track a bit.
Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter. Then, as Luke 1 reads, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel who tells her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and that she, a virgin, will be with child. [Can I digress for a quick moment? You know those "Parking for Customer 'with Child'" signs at the grocery store? Do these signs throw anyone else into a spin of rhetorical inquiry? Do they mean "with child" as in Mary "with child" or "with child" as in the two full carseats in my back seat will suffice? Okay, done.] Back to Mary. While an angel informs her that she is favored, he still shares news that she will become pregnant with the "Son of the Most High" (Luke 1: 32). Her response? "And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word'" (Luke 1: 38).
What would my response have been? This really isn't a good time for me right now. Pregnant?! You know, Joseph might not love this idea. No one will believe I'm a virgin. I'll be shamed. I'll be judged. This isn't in my five-year life plan. Epidural? Ummm...NO!
Apparently I'm not the only one who wonders what it might have been like to be Mary. My pastor, Bobby Conway, recently spoke on Mary as part of Life Fellowship's current biography series titled "6 Men and 6 Women". After sharing the biblical context of each character's life, Bobby goes on to offer a summative take away in the form of advice from each respective character.
Mary's advice? There's no way of knowing or fulfilling God's kingdom will for our lives until we follow his mortal will for our lives. Mary likely had no clue how her virgin pregnancy, and the resulting babe, would be used to bring restoration, hope, and amazing and saving grace to you and to me thousands of years following her lifetime. What she did know was that she would have a child who "will be great" (Luke 1:32). And to that calling - to the ridiculous and uncomfortable - she boldly said yes without hesitation or excuses. Mary had no idea of the responsibilities and consequences that would come with her yes, but she said yes anyway! Her trust in the Lord was greater than her fear of man's reaction to her obedience. We may never see the results of our small, or big, yeses, but let's say them anyway.
Mary, you're pretty dang awesome. Jesus, thank you for salvation.
Lord, help me live a life that says: Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. Yes!