FAVOR WITH GOD By Veronica Cazillo

Read: Luke 1:26-38

Reflect: What do you do when a gift from the Lord doesn’t really feel like a blessing when He first gives it to you? When, in fact, it feels like the exact opposite of a blessing? Maybe you lost a job when you really needed the income. Maybe a relationship didn’t work out the way you wanted it to, or you didn’t see something you prayed desperately for come to fruition. In the moment, we often do not understand the bigger picture of how the Lord is working. We may not understand the purposes of his blessings, or how He sometimes closes one door to open another. It’s easy when we don’t see the whole plan to view God’s favor as a burden. How should we posture our hearts before the Lord in such instances? We can learn a lot from the way Mary responds in this passage.

Multiple times in this passage of scripture, the angel Gabriel speaks of how Mary is highly favored. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time picturing that Mary initially felt favored after being told she would conceive before she was married. The Lord was blessing Mary with the great responsibility of bearing His Son, yet the scripture says Mary was “confused and disturbed” at first. However, by the end of Gabriel’s message, we see Mary adopting a posture of obedience as she says “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”  In a matter of verses, we see Mary wrestle with a variety of emotions as she processes the news given to her.

Apply: If Mary, the mother of Jesus, was allowed to feel both confused and troubled on the way to ultimately accepting God’s plan, we can too. There is room for both our confusion and our faithfulness before the Lord. I don’t know how the Lord may be showing you His favor right now that doesn’t feel like favor, but I do know how we should respond. In the midst of uncertainty, confusion, and struggle, may the cry of our hearts still be “I am the Lord’s servant.”