Six months after Gabriel broke the deafening silence of four hundred years, he appeared again. To a young girl named Mary in the little town of Nazareth in Galilee. She was betrothed to a man named Joseph. More than engaged, but not yet married. Seriously promised. Mary and Joseph were faithful hopers, holding on to those old promises.
Shalom, favored one. The Lord is with you.LUKE 1:28
Gabriel began with the word peace, knowing Mary would be startled. Confused.
Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.LUKE 1:30-31
From out of the silence, Gabriel spoke a new promise, tied to the old promises to which Mary had been holding. But a seemingly impossible one.
How can this be possible?LUKE 1:34
Giving away Elizabeth’s secret, Gabriel assured Mary that nothing was impossible with God. If God could awaken Elizabeth’s dead womb, He could certainly use Mary’s young and waiting womb.
And Mary believed.
Here I am, the LORD’s servant. May it be done to me as you have said.LUKE 1:38
After so many years. So many people holding on to this promise of Hope.
Hope was near!
Can you imagine? Just a young, simple girl living her simple Jewish life? In a town looked down upon by other Jews? A nobody from nowhere good? And yet chosen?
From the outside, nothing about Mary’s life made her a good choice. But just like He did with David, God saw her heart. A heart connected to His, wrapped in His promises, soaked in His word. And she was His choice to carry out His promise. To carry His Promise.
Mary was surprised to see Gabriel. Could anyone blame her? But as soon as he continued to explain, she understood. The old promises to which she had been clinging found her. Her! And trusted her with more than she could have ever imagined.
God uses the most improbable, the seemingly impossible, to do His best work. For God’s glory shines brightest in the impossible!
Are you in the middle of impossible? I’m not sure how God will choose to show Himself to you. Gabriel probably won’t visit you. But let God wrap you in His presence. Experience His peace while you wait for Him to do what only He can do.
Father, You really do use the most unlikely. All along, You have used nobodies from nowhere. Liars, pagans, and idolaters. And You made them the who You could use to move this promise along. And, Lord. You looked into eternity future from eternity past and saw Mary. A young faithful girl. And You chose her. Waited on her. Used her to carry out Your promise of Hope.
Yes, Lord, it does seem impossible. But with You, impossible is not a word. And for that, I am so grateful. Amen.
It’s almost Christmas! It has been quite the journe from Eden, where broken began. I bet you thought we’d never get to where we were going! I bet Mary, and all the Marys and Josephs that came before her, thought the promised Hope was never going to come. But the old promises came—right to their front door!
I love Mark Lowry’s song, recorded by many artists, Mary Did You Know? I assume it was purely rhetorical. Mary knew! Oh, she knew! She sang her own song unto the Lord, praising Him and recounting His faithfulness.
My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Today, you don’t have to sing Mary’s song. Sing your favorite. Turn it up loud. Sing it loud, praising the Lord in heaven who is so faithful to His promises!
Here’s a quick link for you.
Written by Mark Lowry, Performed by Danny Gokey