And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” Luke 1:46-50 NIV
I stared at the hospital’s stony façade with my husband at my side. I was eighteen years old and in labor with my first child. Though I’d prepared with childbirth classes, my mind raced with what the real deal would be like. The cold, sterile environment inside the hospital did little to calm my nerves. I tried to muster my courage. After all, the birth would happen, ready or not.
Courage comes in many forms, sometimes in small packages. A young Jewish girl named Mary was engaged to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter, when an angel appeared to her. The New Testament gives few details regarding Mary, but in the book of Luke, the angel greets her with the phrase, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Wow! That phrase may be small, but it packs a mighty message.
The rest of the message is enough to make even the toughest woman quake. Mary would be the mother of the Son of God.
Mary’s reply? “I am the LORD’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Was Mary scared when Jesus’ birth was imminent? The Bible doesn’t say, but given the Jewish culture, Mary had much to fear. Joseph could desert her upon learning about her pregnancy. Much worse—being stoned for her “sin.”
However, Mary was not only obedient facing potential persecution—she was courageous.
We know the rest of the story. Joseph, a faithful servant of God, stayed with Mary and became Jesus’ earthly father.
The angel’s proclamation filled Mary with joy, but the angel never promised life would be easy. Over thirty years later, Mary watched her son die on a cross. Obedience often brings pain. But God promises to be with us through that pain.
Being courageous facing the unknown, or what your life experiences tell you might happen, is tough. God’s supernatural power which lives in Christians is tougher.
What obstacles are you facing? If you are living in God’s will, He will give you the tools and strength to conquer them.
All you need is courage.
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Laura Hodges Poole is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in media such as Reach Out Columbia, P31 Woman, WOW–Writing on the Word, Evangel, Christian Home and School, Our Town, and the Independent Mail. She currently writes Christian romance novels and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She is a 2012 RWA Emily finalist, with her novel manuscript placing second amongst a nationwide field of Christian and secular entries. Her short story “Mission of The Heart” is included in the anthology “I Choose You” available this Christmas through OakTara Publishers. Laura lives in South Carolina with her husband and they have two children. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk. Visit her blog, “A Word of Encouragement,” at laurahodgespoole.blogspot.com.
Read Laura’s devotions.