“Hail, blessed woman! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was just minding her own business. A virgin, engaged to Joseph, she very likely did not view herself as a potential world-changer. As a uniquely and highly favored person in the sight of the Lord. As one who would know a “God with us” in a way that, body and soul, no-one else ever could.
Via an unanticipated without-Joseph pregnancy, she would bear a Son whose impact on the following generations would be unfathomable. One whose kingdom would have no end.
“How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
While the angel gives her an answer, it’s the summary statement, the exclamation point at the end, that resonates through the ages even to us today, in all of our confusing difficulties: “Nothing will be impossible with God.”
Whatever perplexities we’re facing, if God is with us, we’re richly blessed. If the Lord has favored us with his nearness, and chosen us for His service, we are wealthy beyond measure, even if poor in this world’s goods.
And He calls us to mind-boggling things. Forsaking treasured sins. Giving up self-direction. Turning our backs on the allure of the world. Holiness. Singleness of heart. Things impossible for mere men.
But possible with God. Only possible with God.
Some people deny the existence, or presence, or activity of God. When you see a follower of Jesus with a submissive and trusting heart, a former slave to selfishness and sin who now (even just in part) walks a different path out of worship and love, you are seeing a divine work. You are seeing the life of God implanted in a chosen one. You are seeing Emmanuel – God with us.
For those who will not see God, there are always alternative explanations to be manufactured. Denial is the daily lot of the unbeliever. Unbroken natural process is the dogma that defines what is possible.
For those who believe but know the confusions (and even tragedies <–I never knew this backstory until this morning) that swirl about in our fallen world, there will always be unresolved questions (esp. the ones starting in “Why….?). But there is one exclamation point that is simply self-evident regarding the one God who has created heaven and earth and all that is in them.
The Unlimited One doesn’t feel the handcuffs of “the impossible.” As King, He does whatever He chooses. Even if it involves sovereignly blessing His chosen servants, and bypassing the laws by which He set up His universe.
Confusing at times? Yes. But a blessed confusion.