"Greetings, favored one! The LORD is with you." But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salvation this was. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1:28-30 NASB).
- Be unmarried and pregnant, a most misunderstood circumstance in her community. Without God intervening to save her, Joseph could have had her stoned to death.
- Be called a liar. I can hear it now from the townspeople. "Oh, that's a new one for being unmarried and pregnant. An angel came, eh? Oh, sure he did."
- Give birth in difficult circumstances: out of town, without your momma or a mid-wife, surrounded by strangers, and seeing strange things happening like those pesky angels showing up again.
- Become a young widow. I've wondered why God's plan included an early death for Joseph. Why was it best for Mary to be a widow?
- Become convinced along with her other children that her first-born is crazy. She tries to convince Him to come home for some help. He definitely needs some R & R--He's been working too hard and is delusional. But her pleas to help Him are rebuffed to the point that He seems to reject her.
- See her son misunderstood, spit on, falsely accused, and nailed to a cross like the most horrible kind of criminal.
- Stand at the foot of the cross experiencing the agonizing death of her righteous Son.
The question for us is: are we willing to sign on the dotted line for God's own unique definition of "favor" for each of us? It may not be what we think "favor" should mean. But God always brings good out of it--but it's His definition of "good."
Here's the pen.... Ready to sign?