As I am writing this, the song Mary Did You Know is playing in my ears. I love this song. I love the words and I love to ponder each question that the singer poses. I imagine some (answers) she knew and some she didn’t. Considering Mary was a woman—and an unmarried one at that, she would have been unaware of the prophecy in full. Sure, maybe she knew some of the details of the coming of the Savior, but to the full? No.
This year, I have been thinking of Mary and her role in bringing Hope to the world. We know so little about how she felt beyond the moment she heard the news. We know she was confused and fearful. We know that she accepted what the angel told her and trusted to the point that she went along with God’s master plan. But what about the in between?
From the point of conception to the delivery had be fraught with a mix of emotions. It’s easy to assume she made peace and carried on with a joyful heart day in and day out. However, I venture to guess there was more to it than that. In my mind there was fear and temptation to doubt along with pride to battle. She was fully human. The temptation was there. How many times did she succumb to worry or cry herself to sleep at the gravity of the task at hand―we just don’t know. Mary was physically birthing a ministry and a life calling. She is a great example of trust when God’s call on your life is impossible.
The physical limitations on Mary were great. She was to give birth to a son, yet she was a virgin–inexperienced. Did that matter? Yes. It was not only a non-limitation in this scenario, it was a part of the prophecy. She needed to be a virgin.
Her inexperience was in His expectations.
He even gives way for her doubt.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” Luke 1:34 (NIV)
He knew she would ask questions and be concerned. He gave her the job anyway. I believe He did because of her next statement:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left.
Luke 1:38 (NIV)
What if we all said this—even in our doubt?
When that angel left, do you think Mary just said, Well, that sounds awesome! Looks like I’m going to be a teen mom! and never gave it a second thought? Um, no. I have no proof, but my guess would be that she freaked out a bit. Because there are about a million details missing from that angelic message!
What is Joseph going to say? My parents? How am I going to explain this?! The Savior of the world? What do I remember about the prophecies?
And on and on. The details would unfold before her as she progressed in her pregnancy and she would most likely say to herself many times before the big day: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Let’s agree that she walked this journey with more trust than fear and more expectation than inexperience. And we can do the same thing. No matter what the Lord is birthing in you today, know that he allows room for your human tendencies. You can also declare the same truth over your life and your situation that the mother of our Savior did all those years ago.
I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.
As we enter the new year, spend time dreaming with the Lord. Allow him to speak life to new dreams in your heart, or even resurrect old ones. He loves you and wants to see your dreams come true!