Photo by Sivarao sanapalli

Some people seem to have a very hard furrow to plough in life. Whether it’s a tough job where you do the right thing but face criticism, or the call to be a prophetic voice when people don’t want to hear you, it can feel like you’re on your own and it’s just too demanding.

Mary could be excused for feeling that way. Of all the callings in the Bible, including Hosea’s calling to marry an promiscuous woman (Hos. 1:2) and even Ezekiel’s instruction not to grieve the death of his wife (Ezek. 24:16), surely Mary’s calling is the most demanding.

She was given a baby supernaturally, a miracle that had never happened before or since. That child’s parentage would always be questioned, she would always be vulnerable to accusations of dishonour, and she bore the awesome responsibility of nurturing the Son of God. Small wonder she was troubled (v29) and confused (v34).

But Gabriel assures her twice that she is highly favoured (vv28,30), and gives her a sign to increase her faith: Elizabeth, who was too old to bear a child, was six months’ pregnant.

Whenever we face difficult tasks, particularly when it makes us unpopular, it can feel like we are on our own.

But if it’s a calling from God, we might need to remind ourselves that, a little like Mary, we are favoured by God.

While our tasks pale in comparison to Mary’s calling, nevertheless, it is good to hear that we are a favourite of God.

As you step out in faith to obey whatever calling God has for you, may you be inspired by Mary’s example and say to God, ‘I am the Lord’s servant… May your word to me be fulfilled.’ (v38)


A Prayer To Make:
‘Dear Lord, thank You for Mary’s example of remarkable trust for her difficult calling. Whenever we find it hard to do the right thing, grant us your favour. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Pray for anyone doing God’s work who has a hard calling and might need some reassurance. Send them a message to encourage them.

Scripture To Consider:
Hos. 1:1–11; Ezek. 24:15–27; Luke 2:34–35; John 19:25–30

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.