Advent-Logo“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28b).

Have you ever had life hit you with something that had you reeling in your spirit?  Maybe it was that dreaded word “cancer” that sent you spiraling out of control.  Maybe it was the unexpected, or even expected, word you received that a loved one had died.  Most likely all of us have had at least one and more than likely more than that so far in our lives.  All of a sudden it seems there is nothing solid under your feet or you are no longer in control.

The day had begun normally, or as normal as it gets when you have three little ones and a busy pastorate and your wife is teaching daily at an elementary school, and then – boom a telephone call came from one of my aunts that my father had passed away from a massive coronary thrombosis.  I was thankful that we had a babysitter for the children so I could drive to the school and inform my wife of the loss.  The principal was helpful and arranged for her to have some time off so she could be with me and we could prepare to drive the 100 miles back to our hometown for the funeral.  My mind went back that day to the time a few years before when my wife received a similar call that her father had passed quite unexpectedly.  The feeling of walking in quicksand is not a pleasant one.  Your mind is racing yet everything seems to be going in slow motion.  However, these are the sort of things that happen regularly to many each day and are often expected or at least not something totally out of your experience.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, had nothing like that to give her any sort of an anchor when and angel of the Lord came to her and announced that she was going to be the mother of the Son of God.  The only possible point of reference Mary could have at her tender age was the scrolls containing the stories of prophets and others who had seen visions, dreamed dreams or even had God speak to them directly.  This was, I’m sure, little comfort for Mary at the time of the angel’s announcement.  She and Joseph were not yet even married but were engaged.  There was the very real possibility of her being stoned to death for having conceived a child out of wedlock.  This was no small matter.  It was a great thing god was expecting of her. “The Lord is with you!” was essential for her to hear and know.

Considering everything that Mary was facing, it was important for her to be assured that the Lord was with her. She would not have to face the future alone. Neither do you. God loves you more than you know. He highly favors you, and is with you.

Prayer: O God, thank You for your favor. Thank you for being with me.


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