The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. Luke 1:28-29
Mary was troubled, agitated, disturbed—greatly. Yeah! Sounds about right! It’s not often that a heavenly being speaks to you.
But surprisingly, she wondered—reasoned, deliberated, considered—about his message, rather than the appearance of a talking angel himself. She wondered at the meaning of the greeting. What kind of greeting was this?
I know I’m speculating, but I imagine her thoughts may have (mine would have) raced along these lines:
Who am I to be favored? Surely you have the wrong person.
Why pick me? I’m just an ordinary girl.
I’ve heard the stories and I know it’s not always so great to be favored or singled out.
I’d rather just remain anonymous.
What am I going to have to do?
What awaits me that I need God’s presence?
These thoughts remind me of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice who responds to her sister Lydia’s offer to find her a husband with, “I thank you for my share of the favor, but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands.” (For those who don’t know, Lydia had eloped with a scoundrel.)
Or like the proverbial call to missions—whenever God calls, of course he’s is going to send me to the farthest reaches of Africa!
Why do we always think the worst? That God’s call means something horrible, difficult or the worst possible thing we could imagine?
When God calls, is your mind immediately troubled?
Do you assume his call means hardship and sacrifice?
Are you unwilling to accept God’s call because you don’t like his way of favoring you?
I thank you, Lord for my share of the favor because you always have my good in mind and you know what you’re doing. Help me to trust you when you call by not assuming the worst right away.
Next: Command and Promise
For an edited (and much better written) version of this, please purchase Favored Blessed Pierced: A Fresh Look at Mary of Nazareth, available on Amazon.