In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “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. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
Sometimes we hold unto blissful expectations which eventually become painful disappointments. Take the concept of wanting to experience the favor of the Lord. Most humans would desire the favor of the Lord. We picture ourselves sitting on a royal chair with subjects, having a life of ease and comfort, and all our desires fully satisfied. Yet reality speaks differently as Mary experienced through her life.
Yes, she was favored by the Lord to be the birth mother of the Son of God. But life wasn’t really a bowl of peaches because of it. Think of all she had to endure through the process?
She was an unmarried woman pregnant with child living is a small village where everybody generally knows everyone else’s business. Per the old Jewish oracles, a woman without a husband and pregnant was to be stoned to death. How favored of a life would you say living out each day hiding your condition from your parents and siblings and neighbors is? What about spending the last month of your pregnancy riding a donkey and/or walking for 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in a census? And of course, to give birth in a non-sanitized environment without the support of family or friends. Is this the favored life?
To be favored by God is a blessing. You know He has your back. But the process of every day challenges and threats still remain. To be favored by God is an adventurous life and not necessarily a safe one. Yet to know you are being held in His Grip through all the ups and downs life throws your way is a blessing and comfort to the soul.
Even with suffering or pain that comes our way, we rather be favored by God than not. How about you?
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