How would you react to a visit from Gabriel?
by Kim Starr
We’ve all read or heard the story of the angel appearing to Mary hundreds of times, but have we ever really grasped the magnitude of what happened? Take the time and read it again, with intention.
Mary was probably in her early teens when the angel Gabriel appeared. We assume that Mary was by herself, which is hard to imagine considering how families lived multi-generationally and in small dwellings during that time. Of course, God’s timing is perfect, and Gabriel found her all alone and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (v. 28) I don’t know about you, but if an angel appeared to me, I would be either struck dumb or I would have been screaming in fright. We have no idea what Mary did, although we are told she “was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (v. 29)
Gabriel tells her not to be scared, but she is going to become pregnant, give birth to God’s son, and she is to name him Jesus. What is her response? She wonders how this is going to happen since she’s a virgin. Mary listens to Gabriel’s answer regarding the logistics of her getting pregnant, and then says, “I am the Lord’s servant … May your word to me be fulfilled.” (v. 38)
If you had been Mary, how would you have handled this encounter? Would you have recognized Gabriel was sent by God? Would you have immediately trusted and had faith in what you were being told? Would you have simply accepted what you were being asked to do?
How often do we put our life totally at God’s disposal? How do we respond when He comes and invites us to join Him on a mission, even one we believe is impossible? When God calls us to join Him in what He is doing, He is specifically asking us to do something that will accomplish His eternal purposes. We need to remember that God is not limited and that He can do extraordinary things. We do not need to know the answers or the logistics. We simply need to trust Him.
Mary had a submissive heart. She was obedient to God’s request. She left all of the details up to Him. She just made herself available and that is exactly what He wants from us. When God calls, He always provides. When God calls, the response most pleasing to Him is exactly what Mary said, “Here I am Lord. I am your servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Mary. Thank you for using her to show us how we can best help You fulfill Your goals. Help us to stop asking questions and trying to figure out how Your plan is going to work. Instead, help us to simply say, “Here I am. Use me.” Amen