Mary • Devotion #1: Greatly Troubled
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator
Can you think of a time you received a phone call or an email that instantly incited anxiety, confusion, fear, and doubt? I remember the night four years ago when I was home alone in the early evening, and my phone rang. A ringing phone is not usually a fearful event unless you are expecting unsettling news, which I was not. I was unprepared for the news I was about to hear. My sister’s trembling voice was on the other end of the phone, and I heard the dreaded words, “Debbie, Dad is gone!” Immediately, I was in a state of denial and thought, “there must be a mistake, I just talked to him the other day, and he sounded fine.” The next voice I heard was a man I did not know. My sister had handed the phone to a police officer who confirmed and offered his condolences in six of the most painful words I have ever heard, “I’m sorry for your loss, Ma’am.” My state of denial quickly became my reality. Instantly, I was flooded with all kinds of emotions, first and foremost being grief and sorrow, followed by immense fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. I guess I would sum up those five emotions into one word, TROUBLED! The news instantly sent my mind whirling in many directions. The main concern was who is going to care for my sweet mother who could not be left alone for more than a few minutes due to Alzheimer’s disease. God quickly calmed my fears and proved Himself faithful by going before us and having things and people in place. God was very near to us during that time just as He promised in His word, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in Spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
I cannot even begin to imagine what a young virgin girl must have felt when the Angel of the Lord visited her one day with some of the most incredible yet terrifying and definitely unexpected news imaginable. In Luke 1:28-29 we read, “‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.” My first thought is, greatly troubled….Ummm, NO KIDDING! If an Angel of the Lord visited me with an important sacred message, I might be slightly worse off than troubled. Mary, a young teenage virgin girl, was just told that she was going to bear a son, not just any son but the Son of the Most High! Ok, right there I would have freaked out! I would have gone on Facebook, and my status would have been labeled, Feeling Freaked Out along with the big eyes emoticon. What in the world?!?!? How can this be? What will I tell my parents, what will I tell Joseph, my betrothed? How will I ever show my face in public because who is going to believe I have not done something terrible! These are all the things I would have been thinking.
Mary feeling troubled is completely understandable and appropriate. I am sure the initial shock and days proceeding were unsettling for sure, but God was with her just like He was with me when I faced trouble. Throughout Scripture we see God going before His people and preparing the way. God never fails to deliver on His promise to provide all that we need when we cast our cares on Him. He freely gives us a peace that passes all understanding. How awesome for Mary to be “Highly favored of God!” What an honor and privilege to be the one chosen to carry our Savior in her young womb. He turned her trouble into triumph!
Jesus said in John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God believe also in me.” God wants all of His children to trust Him at all times but especially in times of trouble and great distress. Remember, His ways are perfect. He has a purpose and a plan and will provide everything that we need. He will work all things together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).