Chronicled in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
According to the world’s standard, Mary should have never amounted to anything in life. She was a small-town girl with no notable past or present, at the time. Her only claim to fame was being from the lineage of David, but far removed from any place of nobility. She was just a teenager (probably around 15) trying to navigate through life. She was engaged, but to a humble carpenter named Joseph; nothing glamorous and nothing special…on the surface. She was certainly not “special” enough to be the mother of God, right?
That’s the beauty of God. He is not looking for “special” people. He wants humble folks with servant hearts willing to open themselves up to His love and leading. God is the master of taking people who are not considered the “cream of the crop” and making them great. Remember David? How about Moses? John the Baptist? Peter? Need I go on? Mary was one such person. She found favor with God, not because of who she was—honestly, she wasn’t much in man’s eyes—but because of WHAT she was. She was pure in heart. She pleased God with her spirit, not her social status. God chose her as the vessel through which His Son, the savior of the world, would come through.
Once Mary became pregnant, she also became an outcast. Here was an unwed teenager who had gotten knocked up. While that may be par for the course these days, it was taboo in that day. People began to talk. Of course, no one believed that Mary was still a virgin and that the Holy Spirit had supernaturally conceived Jesus in her womb. Her own fiancé didn’t buy it (at first). Who would? It was a pretty far-fetched notion. She was ostracized, made fun of, and whispered about with disdain. Townspeople wanted nothing to do with her. Joseph even thought he should quietly put her out of sight.
Imagine being a young lady who’s been abandoned by everyone she holds most dear. She was downtrodden. Mary even left town for a little while to escape the condescending looks, the hurtful words, and cold isolation. She longed for someone she could talk to, someone who might understand, someone who could tell her everything would be okay. Mary had to deal with the weight of the world on her shoulders—that and the pangs of pregnancy to boot!
Mary languished in the immense pressure of not only carrying the Christ child, but knowing that the world around her (the very world He came to redeem) didn’t get it. She bore it all with grace. When she looked at the tiny hands and feet of Jesus, all the pressure melted away. When her eyes met His, she knew that every unkind word, every judgmental glance, and every moment of pain were worth it. Through “ordinary” Mary, the salvation of all mankind entered the world.
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Never believe the lie that you’re not good enough to be used by God. He has an amazing purpose in store.