26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
This story in the Bible where the angel comes to Mary and announces her virgin pregnancy and miraculous birth grips me every time. It’s not so much what happened, but how Mary responds that moves something deep inside.
An angel visits a young–barely old enough to become pregnant–teenage girl and tells her God’s plan for her life. Not only does an angel, a huge, majestic angel, come and appear to her and speak with her after hundreds of years of heaven’s silence on the earth, but he gives her an almost unbelievable, impossible message.
She will become pregnant without being touched by a man and the baby will be the long awaited Messiah.
And she believes him with child-like faith.
I wonder if any doubt seeped into her mind or if she had a moment of unbelief, or if she spent any seconds counting the costs…
Like….um….”I’m not married and people are DEFINITELY going to think Joseph got me pregnant and in my culture I’ll be ruined and I’ll never have the life I dreamed of.”
We don’t know what ran through her mind and heart that day, but we do see her faith-filled response to the most unexpected news.
My unexpected news recently? I was disappointed when a long expected date with my husband didn’t work out this weekend….and when three bags of garbage sat by my front door when a certain someone in my house ignored their chores for a few days.
Not big deal stuff, so why do I let it rob my peace?
It’s funny how much the everyday, average inconveniences can disrupt the peace in a soul.
Mary gets unexpected news and her response stirs me every time. “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you’ve said about me come true.”
She breathes in the word of the Lord and exhales God’s peace.
I think I want to be like her.
And we can be.
He promises us that we can have His peace, no matter what we face. He doesn’t promise a life free of struggle or pain, but He does promise access to His peace through His presence in any circumstance. Peace in our marriages. Peace in our homes, our children. Peace in the midst of stress. Peace when the unexpected happens. Peace when the unthinkable happens. Peace in the midst of financial pressure. Peace when circumstance is out of our control. Peace when we need a miracle.
He is trustworthy and His presence is here.
The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:28)
Whatever disrupts our peace….unexpected news, heartbreak, daily interruptions, or even tragedy, His peace is available and it’s worth fighting for. We can walk through anything and He promises peace in His presence.
Christmas is a season of peace that only He brings.
Breath in His presence, exhale peace.
Peace I leave you. Peace I give you. –John 14:27