(Visit Christian Devotions for the He Said - She Said Series by Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles)
The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid. Mary, you have found favor with God. "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.....But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? - Luke 1:28-33, 43
There are times when we are dealt a task that can only be performed by us. Regardless of what we do, who we talk to, the ultimate completion of the assignment falls solely in our hands. The burden is great - sometimes heavier than anyone can imagine. Sometimes so heavy that we fall to our knees and crawl until we find something we can grasp hold of and pull ourselves upright once again.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Mary, the mother of Jesus? Can you imagine the burden - the weight that was tied to her heart, pulling her to her knees? Simply as a mother, knowing the facts of His life before He was born and being aware everyday she rocked Him what His ultimate demise would be - was enough to bring a life of suffering for her. Still she faithfully stood by His side. All through the ministry of Jesus, we see one-liners of scripture that tell us Mary was there. She was not only His mother she was a follower and a believer. She followed him to different cities from time to time. She walked along the crowd, mourning as He lugged the cross to Calvary, and she sat at His feet as His life's blood trickled down the cross and puddled at her knees. She had to ask the question, "And God calls this favor?"
Though the honor of being chosen as the mother of Jesus was amazing, one given on the merits of her heart, Mary only asked one question of the angel who brought her the news. "How can this be?" She never once questioned the task she was given. As women, it's our nature to question. We like to know the details of things. Men are happy with a brief outline but women - women take the details of an issue and wrap around it, making sure that every aspect of it is covered. It's just how God made us. Mary fought that urge to question. She took the overwhelming news into her heart and pondered it. Later her own humility before the Father led her ask, "But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Humble, obedient, determined, and faithful - favored by God.
Mary had to wonder why she couldn't enjoy the life of Jesus, as she would enjoy the lives of her other children, but she realized each memory of Him would be her only tie to Him once His task on earth was complete. So, she was there. She was there being the faithful and loving mother - there being the faithful and loving servant. Even as He died on the cross while part of her died as well.
The true qualities of such a woman will only be known to our Father in heaven who knew her heart and found favor with her. Hers was a task only she could fulfill and hers was the burden she carried without hesitation. Some say a gift, while others say a curse, a life of suffering and torment as she watched her child grow into His ministry. She'd found favor with God and as undeserving as she felt, she stepped forward and performed the job with grace and determination.
I asked the Father, "What is favor?"
He knelt down and tinkered with a blade of grass. "Favor is my choice. Knowing the strength of the heart, the broadness of the shoulders, the willingness to continue on when things get hard."
"It doesn't mean you like one more than another?"
"No, not necessarily. It means I know them better than any other. And I know whether they will press forward or slow to stop beneath the details of the plan."
"So Mary was favored?"
"Indeed. A woman of great favor for reasons man will never grasp. Unique and obedient, faithful and humble."
"Oh." I said kneeling next to Him. "So do You love me like You loved Mary?"
"Without a doubt. I find favor in all My children. They are each different." That warmed my heart. God loves us all, finds favor in us all - each one unique in His eyes.