“I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then, the angel left her. Luke 1:38 HCSB
She was a teenager. An angel showed up and told her that she’d be the mother of the Messiah – the, um, virgin, unmarried mother of the Messiah. She could have responded with a bunch of arguments: “Wait a second. What is Joseph going to think? He’ll never believe me, and I’ll lose him for sure. And the scandal in town is going to ruin him … and me … and my mother. Mom will be so embarrassed that we’ll have to move. Couldn’t this wait until after Joseph and I are officially married? I mean, that would be a lot easier on me.”
But Mary didn’t talk back to that angel who delivered the bizarre, stressful message. She didn’t tell him that this was incredibly inconvenient and would ruin her reputation. She made a simple statement: “I am the Lord’s slave.”
And the world was given its Savior as a result.
Did God make it easy for her? Well, in some ways, yes. He did send an angel to Joseph, too, but not before Mary had to have the awkward, painful discussion with him. And God gave her the comfort of her family member Elizabeth, also miraculously pregnant with John the Baptist. But Mary still had to endure the gossip and shame. She had to ride on a donkey to another town while 9 months pregnant. She had to give birth in a barn. And, years later, she had to watch her baby be crucified.
No. The task God assigned Mary wasn’t easy. Or convenient. While there was joy, it was joy mixed with suffering.
God has a task for me, too, and for you. The tasks may be different. They may change daily or in a few years. Those tasks are not often easy, or convenient, or fun. But our response should be as Mary’s. “I am the Lord’s slave.”
Taking our eyes off of ourselves and placing them on our God means He can use us to reach His world … instead of just reaching our own comfort goals.
Being the Lord’s slave is hard. But the rewards are worth it in the end.