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By President Randall A. Bach

“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
(Luke 1:28, NLT).

Young Mary, soon to become the mother of Jesus, was special and yet still similar to you and me. She was special in that God knew she possessed the character and characteristics to accept a mantle of unprecedented sovereign honor. He had divinely prepared Mary for her favored place and role. What an unbelievable assignment: conceive a child while still a virgin and dwell with a husband who had to choose to accept that the child was from the Holy Spirit, not another man. She would give birth to the child under stressful conditions in the lowliest of surroundings, lovingly mother the child whom she knew was both God and human, marvel as she saw His godly attributes become increasingly pronounced, and mourn as she witnessed His gruesome fate on a horrible cross. No doubt, Mary was a very special woman! Although we do not venerate Mary as a saint or pray to her as some do, we nevertheless revere, honor, and love Mary as a special woman of God.

“Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean” (Luke 1:29, NLT).

Although she was special, Mary was very much like you and me. It was no small thing to process the appearance of the angel Gabriel, let alone absorb his virtually incomprehensible message. Her first response to something she did not understand was to be confused. No doubt! Additionally, the personal, forever-life-altering weight of Gabriel’s pronouncement was disturbing. Did she try to figure it all out, like you and I would have done? This did not compute: Why me? What will Joseph say? What will my family say? What will other people say? What will this child be like? How can I be a mother to Him? I have been focusing on getting married. Couldn’t I just anticipate a child sometime later in a normal way suitable with societal standards?

Of course Mary rose to the stature of her unique calling. What began as a startling, breathtaking pronouncement that initially threw her off balance became the premiere mission of her life. What a powerful acknowledgement of and submission to what God wanted Mary to do when she responded: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true” (Luke 1:38, NLT). She chose to trust God with what she could not understand or explain.

What began as a startling, breath-taking pronouncement that initially threw her off balance became the premiere mission of her life.

When we are confronted with circumstances and new realities that confuse and disturb us, it is completely natural to spin as Mary did with some confusion. It is normal to wrestle with questions that seem unanswerable. However, somewhere in that sequence, preferably earlier than later, we must activate our faith and trust in the Lord. There are probably some matters in your life that trouble you because you do not know and you may fear their outcome. There may be people you love whose lives are careening out of control and who seem beyond the reach of your influence. You might be facing decisions for which you cannot find a good answer. Unlike Mary, maybe your challenges were not orchestrated by God; maybe they were the result of human conduct instead. Or perhaps their origin is perplexing to you, troubling in itself. However, like Mary, you can trust Him with the seemingly unanswerable questions and unresolvable matters. As the psalmist declared, “For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:5, NLT).

About The Author

Randall Bach
President of Open Bible Churches

Randall Bach delights in opportunities to serve the Lord, including his current assignment as president of Open Bible Churches. He and Barbara, his wife, have been in ministry for over 46 years and call it “Our adventure together.” Randall loves the church, pastors, and church leaders and is convinced that God loves to work through them to make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches.