Luke 1:37-38 - For nothing will be impossible with God.” 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. (full text here)
In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, after her time of seclusion, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary. The story of the annunciation is familiar, so much so that we can lose sight of how shocking it would have been. An angel appears, a sight that consistently frightens people throughout Scripture. He informs an unmarried Jewish girl that she will be with child, a fate punishable by death. This endangers her life and her engagement with Joseph (as legally binding as marriage but without living or sleeping together). She understandably responds with confusion. Luke uses the Greek dietarachthē - greatly agitated, thoroughly stirred up, confused, and perplexed. Gabriel explains that the power of God would accomplish this, and as confirmation shares the surprising news that her aged relative Elizabeth is already with child. Mary replies with one of the greatest statements of faith of all time.
How do we respond to the surprising turns of our life? Do we despair and lose hope when assailed by the storms of life? Do we muddle through confusion when circumstances don't play out the way we expected? Do we relegate God to Sunday mornings when life goes smoothly and only seek His will when things go awry?
What an example we find in Mary. She accepts that nothing is impossible with God and gives herself completely to his plan for her life - whatever comes. Can we humbly submit to God's will for our lives, believing that his plans are best even when confusing and perplexing? Do we truly believe that nothing is impossible for him? Let us follow Mary's example and trust that God can change us into the image bearers of Christ that we were created to be!
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be
thwarted." - Job 42:2