Speaking of Life 3004 | Favored by God
I remember teaching my son how to ride a bike without training wheels. He was scared, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to do it. I mean, there was some risk of falling, right? And if he didn’t use the brakes, he could run into something. But I knew he was ready, and I ran alongside that bike until he was steady. He knew I wouldn’t let go, and I knew that he could handle it.
This memory makes me think of how Mary, the mother of Jesus, must have felt when the angel Gabriel told her that she was going to become pregnant with God’s Son. Let’s take a look:
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Luke 1:26-31
Mary was just a teenager. She probably didn’t feel ready for this, especially when being pregnant before marriage meant being shamed or even worse, killed. But God was moving Mary from what she thought she was, a poor unmarried girl, to what she was capable of. This is what he does for each one of us.
Like us, Mary needed some reassurance. She asked how a pregnancy would be possible, but ultimately, she said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38, NRSV). Even though she wasn’t sure she could handle it, God, through Gabriel, said she could. She believed the angel’s word that “no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37, NIV), and she knew God would be with her.
In the same way my son trusted my judgment when I said he was ready to ride a bike without training wheels, Mary trusted that God knew her—all of the good and all of the bad—and believed in her. Because God believed she could handle it, Mary believed, too. When God asks us to participate in sharing his love through our unique gifting, he already knows we’re capable of handling it, and his presence is promised because “no word from God will ever fail.” As you move through the world and share God’s love, may you know that the infinite Divine presence believes you can handle it and will enable you to do it.
I’m Heber Ticas, Speaking of Life.