Today, I want to examine her responses to the things that happened in her life. When Mary was first approached by the Angel Gabriel, she was afraid. I would have been too! And the information she received couldn't have been easy to hear. Let's think about this.
She was a virgin, pure in thought and body. She more than likely had a good reputation. She was engaged to be married and life was looking like it was working out pretty well. Then BOOM! She's pregnant and Mary's got some 'splaining to do. Can you even imagine what Joseph thought when she told him what sounded like the most cockamamie story he had ever heard? Seriously, what man would have believed that? It must have seemed that her marriage went right down the tubes.
Then there's the little concern about the law of the land. In Jewish law, audultry was punishable by death. Although not married, engagement was more like marriage is in our culture and she would have been considered an adulteress. So now, she was facing a life of disdain and reproach, if she managed to keep her head. And all of that for being completely innocent.
I don't know about you but that might have made me very angry and tempted to question the love of God. Afterall, she lived a pure life, she loved God and had kept herself according to His law and now God was placing her in the worst possible position that a woman could face in those days.
(Meanwhile, a few months earlier, Mary's cousin Zacharius had also received some rather unbelievable news. He and his wife Elizabeth were going to have a baby after being barren for their entire lives. Zacharius argued with the angel since he and his wife were "old and stricken in years." As a result, the angel shut his mouth and caused him to be mute until the baby was born.)
Now this is what is interesting to me. Both Zacharius and Mary questioned the angel. Zacharius doubted that it COULD happen at all while Mary only questioned only how it WOULD happen. "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."
Now, let's bring this home. When your life completely falls apart, when God allows hardship, loss, and devastation to invade your life, when He changes the total trajectery of your plans, goals and dreams, how do you respond? Do you, like Mary automatically respond "behold the handmaid of the Lord" or do you argue with Him trying to convince Him that this is not a welcome change? Do you consider yourself blessed as Mary did or do you begin to grow suspicious of God and His love? Are you so in love with God that your faith in His Divine plan causes you to submit to Him once again in total trust and humility? Are you okay withyour life will looking nothing like you imagined? Are you willing to give up all the blessings you have in order to do what the Lord is calling you to?
Are you a doubter or a questioner? Are you a Zacharius or a Mary?