There are countless records of God speaking to humans all throughout the Old and New Testaments. In Daniel (5:5-9) God spoke a message of doom to Belshazzar using words written on a wall by the fingers of a man’s hand. In Jonah (chapter 2) God sends a clear message of correction to Jonah through the belly of a big fish. And in Genesis (32:22-32) God spoke to Jacob through a wrestling match which caused Jacob to have a displaced hip! But perhaps the sweetest, most amazing account was when God used His angel, Gabriel, to give Mary a message that would change everything, for all of humanity.
Luke 1:26 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Mary was young. Mary was poor. Mary was female. She was starting off with three strikes against her when you consider the society in which she was living. She would not have been seen as someone who God would use to bring into the world the most precious gift He had to offer. Yet He did choose Mary. Why? Perhaps because God saw into her heart and knew she was just the one to carry out such a heavy plan. Or perhaps He wanted to show that He can use anyone, even with strikes against them. Perhaps He knew that one day you would sit and read these words, feeling like a hopeless mess that isn’t any good to God. He isn’t looking for perfect. He isn’t looking at your education or your human abilities. He is looking for a sweet spirited Mary with the willingness that she displayed in verse 38 with the words, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
There isn’t any doubt in my mind that Mary’s mind was all over the place. The Bible shows her willingness but it never says her nerves were calm. She was at risk for losing everything. Her peers would ridicule her and Joseph could very well have her stoned to death for committing adultery. The journey ahead of her would be one like no other mother in history until then or since has ever had to face. Her son; the little boy that was birthed in a lowly manger, peering up at her with the clearest of eyes, latching hold of her finger as he pierced her heart with his infant perfection; she would one day watch as he was mocked and beaten. She would watch him flinch under the cattails attached to a whip. She would see his body collapse in pain, no longer able to carry the cross he so undeservingly was sentenced to. She was there as he called out to God for the forgiveness of the very men who were putting Him to death. And she watched her beloved baby boy draw in His last breath before He gave up everything on a dark, gloomy hill as He swallowed up man’s sin once and for all.
But in that moment, as God’s messenger stood before her, Mary pondered what she knew. She knew she had a purpose. She knew that God wanted to use her. She knew that no matter what, He would be right there with her. God speaks to us and gives us what information we need for the moment that we are in. Mary knew that God had called her for something extraordinaire, something so much bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. And when God spoke to Mary, in her humble and willing heart she answered, “Yes, God.”