“Who is it?”
Knock! Knock! Knock!
“Yes?” she said, cracking open the door.
“Mary, my name is Gabriel. Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.”
“Uh-huh—how will this be, since I am a virgin?”
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk 1:28–35).
Talk about disruption! Mary was preparing for her marriage to the village carpenter. She intended to make her nest in a cul-de-sac three-bedroom-two-bath home in small-town Nazareth, and live her life here among family and friends.
Her brain was ready to explode: If what Gabriel says is true, I’ll be the object of scandal and contempt. No one will buy this virgin-birth story—not my family, my friends, or my Rabbi. And not Joseph, my betrothed.
“Mr. Gabriel, uh, thanks, but no thanks. Count this girl out.”
That would have been an understandable response—but it wasn’t Mary’s response: “I am the Lord’s servant,” she said. “May it be to me as you have said” (Lk 1:38).
In a breathtaking moment, Mary was transformed from a first-century tiny town nobody to an all-centuries worldwide leading lady whom all generations would call blessed.
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished,” said her kinswoman Elizabeth (Lk 1:45).
Mary lifted heart and voice in a song of praise: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . . From now on all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:47–48).
From the moment she said, “Yes,” Mary planted her feet on the path of pain. There was a torturous trip to Bethlehem at full-term, an attempt by Herod to kill her newborn son, and a harrowing escape to Egypt to protect her baby. When he was grown, she saw him rejected by the religious establishment and abandoned by his disciples. And she watched him die at thirty-three.
You and I won’t encounter a disruption as terrifying as the one Mary experienced with that knock at her door. But disruptions will come calling.
You have probably been bushwhacked already by a disruption that derailed your hope for an orderly, trouble-free life. Emotionally, you have plunged from gated-community comfort to under-the-bridge misery.
You’ve survived, but the scars remain tender—and you catch yourself looking over your shoulder, skittish about being blindsided again.
The world has been a hostile place ever since Adam and Eve polluted our garden.
But along the way, God puts people like Mary in front of us—people ready to go wherever he wants them to go and do whatever he wants them to do, convinced that he will go there with them; people praising him even when facing fear, uncertainty, and pain; people who give us hope and courage;
It is spiritually healing to reach the point where we can say, “I am the Lord’s servant, let it be to me according to his will.” Then, in spite of the weight of the burden, we can raise our voice in praise: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”