A friend of mine recently wrote a post entitled “Hail Mary, Full of Grace“. It got my mind rethinking what I had assumed about Mary. It was a very thought provoking piece and in today’s post, I want to share some of what it sparked in me. I encourage you to click the link and read that post as well.
If you’ve ever read the story of Jesus’ birth, you’ve read how the angel visited Mary and told her that she was highly favored and would conceive a child who would be the Messiah, the Son of God. Before the angel left, Mary responded in Luke 2:38. She said, “Be it unto me according to your word.” In essence, she was accepting this task to bring the Son of God into the world and to raise Him as her own. She accepted her calling just like you and I would when we get a calling from God.
Since reading my friend’s post, I’m wondering if she really understood what all that would entail and the hardship that would come along with it. Soon after being told she was pregnant, she went and visited her cousin Elizabeth for a few months. I wonder if she had told her friends that she was pregnant, out of wedlock, and was carrying the Messiah. I wonder if they laughed at her and ridiculed her. I wonder if that’s why she spent several months with Elizabeth. When she said, “Be it unto me”, I wonder if she knew that her calling would bring ridicule from others.
Where she sought support, she found laughter. Where she looked for help, she found closed doors. Being pregnant without being married was enough reason to kill someone. Telling others you were carrying the Messiah was blasphemy. Mary did not have an easy road. After Jesus was born, they stayed away from their home for a couple of years. They then were uprooted and had to move to another country with another culture and language. By the time they were comfortable there, they had to move back. They didn’t even get to go back to their hometown. “Be it unto me” meant that they would be uprooted and not have a “home” for several years.
Later in life, Mary watched this precious, God-given child get murdered right in front of her. She could only stand by and watch as she was powerless to stop this act. She spoke to Him as He was dying. I’m sure she began to rethink everything. How could the promised Messiah be hanging on a cross dying? How could her calling lead her to a hill called Golgotha? As they placed his lifeless body in the tomb, I’m sure she questioned that visit from the angel and wondered what was happening. “Be it unto me” meant she wouldn’t fully understand God’s plan.
When God calls us, we are gung-ho to say yes. We are all about being used by Him. But when people start doubting the ministry we were called to, it affects us. When our lives get uprooted because we said yes, it’s hard to understand. When things start happening that seem contradictory to what we thought God was going to do, we start questioning our calling. We won’t see the full picture of what God is doing in our lives, yet we still should follow. We will be told we can’t fulfill our calling because we lack the ability, yet we should still walk by faith. We will have bad things happen to us because we are in His will, yet our response should still be, “Be it unto me.”