03: Deep Breath
By: Abby Custer
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” Luke 1:30-31
I LOVE Christmas. I love the music, the lights, and the giving. And I definitely love the cookies. But as excited as I get every year, I have to keep myself in check. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, and suddenly what was meant to be a season of deep reflection on the most important birth in history becomes something very loud, stressful, and exhausting. I forget to breathe.
And then I think about Mary. I wonder what she was doing when the angel appeared to her and suddenly her entire life was flipped upside down. What did she do in that exact moment. The angel tells her not to be afraid, that this precious life formed inside of her is something great. But what if Mary didn’t want to see the end of her story, and decided to alter the entire path of human history?
Thank God that Mary took a deep breath and decided to trust in her Maker. We see in verses 37-38 of Luke that the angel continues to reassure Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:37-38
Mary models for us the perfect example of a woman of God. She knew that the situation was out of her control. She had two options; take things into her own hands, or let go and cling to her faith. In every challenge that we are presented with, we have options, too. So many times when I try to take things into my own hands, the outcome is disastrous. Mary reminds us to pause, lean into our faith, and wait.
Just as God formed Jesus in Mary’s womb, he forms every baby from the moment of conception. Like Jesus, every baby is a gift, with a predestined journey to be great, because God formed each of us in His image. And just like Mary, it’s okay to feel afraid. We aren’t meant to be alone in this. Just breathe.