And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:34-37)
Mary sounds a bit overwhelmed to me. The angel has just listed the great things that her future Son is going to do, and she lets it all pass by. Instead, she grabs the one point she can understand right now: "How will this happen, since I am a virgin?"
Practicalities matter. Mary wants to know what happens next. And the angel is gentle with her. He says, "The Holy Spirit will handle all of that, and the baby will be conceived by miracle." Mary doesn't need to worry. God has everything under His control.
The angel gives her more comfort, though she hasn't asked for it. "Your relative Elizabeth is also pregnant by miracle."
Mary's eyes must have lit up. She will not be alone in this strange situation; she will have a cousin with her, someone who will understand. Mary decided to go visit her immediately.
How kind God is to us! He knows when we are overwhelmed and barely keeping it together. And so He provides helps and comfort for us along the way—whether that's family, friends, or even the kindness of a stranger.
And we have God's best gift—Jesus our Savior, who died and rose for us, and who is always with us. We are not left alone to deal with an overwhelming future. He will keep us safely in His hands.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me when I am overwhelmed and don't know what to do. Amen.
* Is anything making you nervous right now? What is it?
* What do you do when you are overwhelmed?
* If you are willing, tell a story of a time God helped you when you were overwhelmed.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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