Mary. That girl. I wonder if we would have been best friends forever, BFFs. I would have wanted to be. Mary, the young, highly favored, mother of the Most High King.
By candlelight, I wonder if we would have giggled with excitement about her approaching marriage to the handsome, strong, honorable Joseph.
I wonder if she would have shared with me her miraculous pregnancy and, then, divulge her fears and concerns about the swirl of social implications.
I wonder when she returned from her relative Elizabeth’s house visibly pregnant if I would have stood proudly by her side as we walked through the market amidst hushed whispers that sizzled in the corners.
I wonder if through tears she would have confided in me her questions about the long-awaited prophecy that was growing in her belly.
I wonder if I would have hugged her tightly as she journeyed off big and pregnant with Joseph to Bethlehem for the government proclaimed census.
I wonder if we would have huddled up closely and prayed to the God of Israel to carry them safely. I wonder.
I wonder if we would have dreamed and planned and celebrated the myriad of expectations of her new life as a mom and wife and their future as a family.
I hope we would have been friends. Like that.
I also wonder how she grappled in determined commitment with the angel’s powerful and promising words.
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:29
You and I are privy to her future yet unknown. Mary’s highly favored and blessed status brought her:
- Giving birth in a stable away from family with animals as her audience.
- Fleeing from the King’s death wish on her 2 years old
- Losing him at the temple when He was 12
- Then, witnessing the unjust accusation and grueling murder of her Son, Jesus
Ugh. The agony of a highly favored mother’s heart.
Highly favored Mary was not spared heartache. Highly favored Mary was not spared pain, grief,or loss. Because, you see, being favored of God does not ensure ease or comfort or a pain-free life.
Favor is found within the next angel’s words, “The Lord is with you.” Favor and grace reside in the presence of Jesus.
No matter the inconvenience.
Immanuel. God with us* (Matthew 1:23).
This year, may I build a nest in that truth. May my goal, my focus, and my prize not rest in the ease and comfort of my life or in being healed from cancer or being protected from a car accident.
No, with determined commitment like my friend Mary, may I believe that the favor of God comes through His presence. Him being with me. Close. Intimate. Loving and powerful.
Day by day. Week by week. Every month of this year.
Will you join me? I wonder if in 2014 we will believe like Mary did. I wonder.
Because you know, He is alive!
Blessed is she who has believed
that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. Luke 1:45
We will pick back up in Hosea on THURSDAY with our #messylove series.
Merry Christmas Eve!