Her big eyes peered up at me.
“Can girls have babies and not be married?”
My mind scrambled. Dear Lord in Heaven, help me answer this with grace, and in a way a five-year-old can understand.
“Yes, but that is not God’s best plan.”
She stood very still. I could tell she was sorting through this new knowledge. Again she looked up at me. Her eyes penetrated into my soul as she asked:
“Then why did God do that to Mary?”
That conversation took place ten years ago. On an intellectual level, it is a fairly easy question to answer. The prophets foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Oh, but the emotional response can be overwhelming. Looking at this from a human level, the Lord put Mary in a nearly impossible situation. To be a pregnant unmarried teen was a stoning offense in her culture. Why would God do that to Mary?
- Mary was prepared. Mary lived a surrendered life. Luke 1: 38 (NLT) “Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.’ And then the angel left her.” She sacrificed her reputation.
- Mary had great faith. Luke 1:48-49 (NLT) “For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.” She believed the angel. Then God provided evidence to continue to build her faith.
- God prepared others to support her
- Joseph – Her husband-to-be knew exactly what was happening. He loved God and loved her through it. (Matthew 1:20-24)
- Elizabeth – Her cousin was empowered by the Holy Spirit to know the child Mary was carrying before Mary spoke a word. (Luke 1:41)
- Simeon – The Holy Spirit guided him to the temple to meet Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they came to present the baby to the Lord. He spoke words that confirmed Jesus was the Messiah. (Luke 2:25-35)
- Anna – This prophet recognized Jesus immediately. She praised God, and was filled with joy when she saw the family in the temple. (Luke 2:36-40)
- Mary remembered God’s promises and provision. Luke 2:19 (NLT) “but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” When times became confusing, she remembered God’s promise. This boy, her son, was the Messiah. God’s promised deliverer. His life purpose would come to pass.
- Mary was highly favored. Luke 1: 28 (NLT) “Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Gabriel spoke these words over Mary before it all began. Yet, look at her life from a historical point of view. Mary was the only one who knew Jesus from conception all the way to Pentecost. Mary was at His birth, childhood, and first miracle. She witnessed His ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and was present in the upper room when the Holy Spirit empowered His followers. Reread that. Can you fathom the honor of her position? She sacrificed much but she witnessed the greatest events in history.
When the Lord calls us to extraordinary lives, He provides all we need. If we surrender our life to Him, He gives us reminders and supporters. He sends His Holy Spirit to guide us. He never leaves us or forsakes us.
Join us this month on our Facebook page as we look at the role of the Holy Spirit in Christmas.