One of my favorite things about reading the Bible is really picturing what it would have been like to have been there in that moment. All of these people God chose to use for his purposes were just ordinary people. Ordinary people who did not have the advantage of knowing the end of the story like you and me. You've probably heard this before, but when you really think about it, its quite amazing. When I read stories in the Word, I always almost instantly put myself in their position and wonder how I would have reacted, not knowing the end of the story.
I was reading in Luke Chapter 1 about the two visits the Angel Gabriel makes to 2 very ordinary people. It's interesting to compare their reactions as one of them seems to handle their news better than the other. The first visit is to the priest, Zachariah. A man of God who was blameless in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. Gabriel appears to him and tells him his wife will bear a son. And Zachariah's only response is "By what shall I know and be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years?". ( Luke 1:18)
Um, hello! An Angel of the Lord is standing before you and thats your question? A priest who is blameless before the Lord and you question whether God could give you a child in your old age? Sheesh!
OK, lets move on to Mary's response. The Angel Gabriel appears to Mary, a 14 year old virgin and says she will bear the son of God. Her response is also a question, but not filled with doubt like Zachariah's. She asks how this could be since she is a virgin and the Angel goes on to explain how this will happen. ( Luke 1:34)
And both stories continue on as we all know.
As I was reading this first chapter of Luke, I put myself in these positions and just wondered what I would do. Its easy for me to look at Zachariah and wonder what he was thinking, but I wasn't there. He and his wife wanted a child so desperately and it had never happened. And now an Angel appears to him in the Temple and his first reaction is doubt. What would my reaction have been?
Mary, on the other hand, could have very easily been filled with fear. She could have been stoned to death for what was about to happen to her. And who would really believe a 14 year girl that she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit? But that was not something she allowed to overtake her. What she saw in all of this was a chance to be used by God in a mighty way. What perspective!
My prayer in all of this is that I would have a Mary reaction in moments like this. When God has something for me to do or to step into, that I wouldn't allow my circumstances to define my abilities. But that I would cling to what the Lord has spoken and like Mary say, " Let it be done to me according to what you have said." (Luke 1:38)
Just a thought on a cloudy day in Frisco, Texas :)