Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
Luke 1:28-34, NLT
Mary wasn’t the first to be waiting for a promise that seemed impossible. Impossible promises might even be called God’s specialty.
Has God tasked you to do something big? Something slightly, if not completely, undoable?
When this happens, we might be tempted to have our own personal pity party or overcompensate by hyper-planning how it’s going to work.
Mary was so brave when she simply asked: “How can this happen?”
She was not rebuked for her question either.
Instead, God told her how this miraculous pregnancy would start. Not only that, but He gave her insider information into the miraculous pregnancy of her cousin Elizabeth, a woman who all believed was barren.
We’re not promised answers when we ask God why or how, but we can be sure God hears us, just as He did Mary.
And that He can handle our questions.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
She asked a genuine question without doubting and was given reassurance and hope. A few verses later, v. 46-55, Mary responds with what is now known as the Magnificat. This exultant prose is not about her but her powerful God.
“How can this happen?”
It’s okay to ask God questions. It’s okay to need reassurance and hope. The answer may not come with the exact explanation we were hoping for, and the answer often is just God giving us Himself. You’ll know when God responds, regardless.
You may even want to sing your own Magnificat.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
What question have you been wanting to ask God but haven’t? What impossible situation can you ask about?
God, I love that you welcome us by asking questions and you reassure us as we need.
When God has shown you Himself or His answer, who can you share that with this week?