Trending Topics      #Gospel   #Church   #Pastor   #Jesus   

When We Don’t Comprehend God’s Plans

4 minutes to read

When we find ourselves unable to comprehend what the Lord is orchestrating in our lives, how should we respond? Mary—the mother of Jesus—found herself in such a situation early in her life. As we look to her response, we shall learn how to navigate such situations.

Mary’s encounter with Gabriel
Recorded in the first chapter of Luke is the unique circumstance that Mary found herself in. While Mary was still unmarried, the angel Gabriel appears to her. Gabriel announces that she will soon bear a son. He will be called the son of God, and he will inherit the throne of King David.

Upon hearing this, Mary is puzzled. Yet, she responds in faith. She replies to Gabriel, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). By responding in this manner, she demonstrates her willingness to be used by God for His purposes, even if she cannot fully comprehend her situation.

Mary begins her song marveling at God’s work in her life.

The Visitation
Soon afterwards, Mary hastens to meet her relative Elizabeth. Their encounter is often referred to as `the Visitation. As Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting, she is filled with the Spirit of God and exclaims:

42Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43And why is this granted to me
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
  44For behold,
when the sound of your greeting came to my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45And blessed is she who believed
that there would be a fulfillment
of what was spoken to her
from the Lord.”

-          Luke 1:42-45 (ESV)

What does Elizabeth convey here? In verse 43, she calls Mary the mother of her Lord. Subsequently, in verse 45, she blesses Mary for believing the Lord. By her juxtaposition of these statements, we can infer that Elizabeth uses the word ‘Lord’ in both verses in the same sense—to refer to God Himself. Thereby, she points out the identity of Mary’s child with great clarity—that the child in Mary’s womb is God Incarnate!

Mary’s response to Elizabeth
How does Mary react to this? Elizabeth’s words help Mary understand God’s action in her life. She is assured that Gabriel’s words are true, and that she indeed bears God in flesh. Her apprehensions are dispelled, and her joy is displayed. She erupts into a song that reflects her impeccable grasp of the Scriptures.

Mary makes sense of her situation through the lens of Scripture, recognizing that God is fulfilling His promises through her.

Mary begins her song marveling at God’s work in her life. She recognizes God’s pattern of action—that He opposes the proud and exalts the humble. She concludes her song by recalling that God is fulfilling His promises to Abraham and his offspring through her. In other words, the Messiah in Mary’s womb is the true seed of Abraham through whom all the peoples of the earth will be blessed [Genesis 12:1-3]. Thus, she recognizes the unfolding of God’s plan to fulfil all His covenant promises through her.

What Mary teaches us
Mary’s response to her unique circumstance sets an example for all believers. She demonstrates a willingness to be used by God for His sovereign purposes. Mary also draws near to Elizabeth when she does not fully comprehend God’s work in her life. Finally, Mary makes sense of her situation through the lens of Scripture, recognizing that God is fulfilling His promises through her.

When we too wonder what the Lord is doing in our life, we are encouraged to respond as Mary did. We are to submit ourselves to God’s sovereign work in us, draw near to the people of God, and gain insight from the Scriptures that God has revealed to us.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter