Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (NIV)
Matthew 1:18 – This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
In our second year of marriage, my husband and I discovered that we were going to have a child. Despite there being no angelic announcement, that was a truly joyful occasion. We expectantly counted the days until our firstborn would arrive.
One Sunday night in November as my time neared, a contraction grabbed hold, pulling me double. Over the next few days, my body struggled to birth our baby. Finally, on the third day, as I weakened and our child showed signs of distress, they planned a Caesarean section. Around eleven the next morning, our son was pulled from my womb. After assessing him, the doctor told us that he would never be normal. Lack of nutrients and oxygen during the last days of pregnancy had damaged him. What should have been a joyful moment threw us into the depths of sorrow.
Then, we held our frail bundle. The minute his tiny fist grabbed our forefingers, he grabbed our hearts. No way could my husband and I relegate him to an institution. We chose to accept what God had sent. God had blessed us with him, and we would love him to the best of our ability. That was forty-four years ago, and my son is still God's wonderful blessing in my life.
Mary did have an angelic birth announcement, but it puzzled her. In those days, because she was only betrothed and the marriage had not yet been consummated, should she be discovered to be pregnant, the punishment would be stoning until she was dead. Thus, she questioned the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
The angelic response was simple: The Holy Spirit would come upon her. She could choose to accept what God had sent, or not. If she chose to bear God's Son, then God would protect her. Her response oozed with faith: "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1:26-38)
Most of us will never have angelic announcements to clarify God's direction for our lives, but we do have God's Word. We can choose to accept, or not. If we do, we will discover that what God has sent us was indeed His provision and blessing for our lives. Our God will always guide, protect, and bless us with His Spirit whenever, like Mary, we choose God's Son, Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Lord God, although we cannot always understand why life challenges us, we trust You to guide and protect us regardless of our circumstances, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" (Lyrics)