Worry or Wonder?

Denise Vredevoogd

Read: Luke 1:26-38

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (v. 30)

In Luke 1, both Zechariah and Mary are surprised by angels who tell them not to fear. Zechariah says, “How shall I know this?” (v. 18). Mary says, “How will this be?” (v. 34). After all, the fulfillment of both promises will require a miracle. Zechariah’s wife is too old to conceive a child, and Mary is still a virgin.

Both receive comfort and encouragement from the angels who tell them about each of their promised sons. While Zechariah desperately wants a son to preserve his reputation and legacy, Mary knows that the timing of this birth could ruin her reputation. Zechariah’s and Mary’s attitudes and heart responses are also different. Zechariah’s fear causes him to be skeptical and he wants proof. Mary’s fear turns to curiosity, wonderment, and then acceptance. She replies, “I am the Lord’s servant . . . may your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38 NIV).

It is human nature to want a guarantee that when God promises something spectacular yet humanly impossible, it will happen. When God says, “Do not be afraid . . . your prayer has been heard,” or “You have found favor with God,” what will my response be? I would like to follow Mary’s example by humbly asking God how something will happen rather than following Zechariah and expecting proof. —Denise Vredevoogd

Prayer: Dear God, help us to surrender our fears and say, like Mary, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”