Be Not Afraid
Luke tells us, “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph…” The virgin’s name was Mary. You’re probably familiar with the story. Mary was obviously shocked and amazed at what Gabriel told her and questioned him saying: “How can this be…?” The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” And the angel also said, “…nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:26-38)
Be not afraid, for nothing is impossible with God. These are words we’d all like to hear and want to believe. Especially in tough times, when fear and doubt begin to creep into our hearts. Gabriel’s words for Mary are meant for us, as well. And Mary, despite her fear and confusion over Gabriel’s news, responded, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word.”
We read this story every year and we’ve grown to expect, and maybe take for granted, Mary’s unconditional acceptance of God’s intervention in her life. Yet in the face of fear and initial disbelief, Mary did something that was difficult to do. She accepted God’s will for her life and committed to making the best of what could be difficult for her personally, to say the least.
I’ve never been visited by Gabriel, or at least I don’t think I have. And generally speaking, there hasn’t been much forewarning before the next life challenge changed my world. Yet, I can’t help but think about how I have responded in word and action when facing difficult circumstances. In those times, have I really acknowledged God’s authority over my life? Or have I reacted with skepticism and stubborn refusal to accept and believe that God has actually found favor with me too, despite how things may appear?
People talk a lot about “giving up their troubles to God,” and that is exactly what Mary did. Her example is a reason for hope for us all. Be not afraid, for nothing is impossible with God.
Ty Gomez is a NorthPark Presbyterian ruling elder, chair of the Communications Committee, and soccer dad. In his spare time, he practices law, plans more unfinished woodworking projects, and cooks for the women in his home.