Keeping A Quiet Heart

"In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, 'Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you." Luke 1:26-28

We see her first, that little Mary, as a simple village girl in a poor home in an out-of-the-way place. Suddenly the light changes. A dazzling stranger stands before her with a puzzling greeting. He calls her "most favored one" and tells her the Lord is with her. She is stunned. She discerns at once that this has to do with things infinitely larger than herself, far beyond her understanding.

The angel does not weigh in immediately with the stupendous message he has been sent to deliver. He first comforts her. "Don't be afraid, Mary." ...Mary... She is not a stranger to him. He is assuring her that he has the right person. He explains what she has been chosen for--to be the mother of the Son of the Most High, a king whose reign will be forever.

She has one question now. Not about the Most High. Not about the Eternal King. But, about motherhood. "How can this be? I am still a virgin!" 

He does not really explain. He simply states a mystery: "The power of the Most High will overshadow you." He goes on to tell her of another miraculous pregnancy, that of her cousin, Elisabeth. "God's promises can never fail," he says. They won't fail for you, Mary. Rest assured.

How does she respond? At once she is available to her Lord. She knows the visitor is from Him. Whatever the mystery, whatever the divine reasons for choosing her, whatever the inconveniences--even disasters which she may be required to face--her answer is unequivocal and instant. "Here I am. I am the Lord's servant. Let it be as you have told me." Anything, Lord.

We see her next with Elisabeth. They don't sit down over coffee and chatter about what people are going to say. Mary sings her song of gladness--of complete acceptance of the gift--of trust in the Mighty One.

We see her sweating in the cold of the stable, putting her own life on the line, as every mother must do, in order to give life to somebody else.

We see her with the tough shepherds, breathlessly telling their story of the glory of the Lord.

We see her in the temple handing over her infant to old Simeon, to whom the Holy Spirit has revealed the child's amazing destiny. But, to Mary, he gives the far deeper message of suffering. Her son will suffer. He will be a sign which men reject. She, his mother, will suffer. She will be pierced to the heart. No question or answer from her is recorded. We know only her quietness.

We see her, once again in Bethlehem, with mysterious travelers from the East bringing their lavish gifts. She says nothing as they kneel before the child she holds in her arms.

We see her on the round-about trip to Egypt because Joseph has been given a secret message in a dream. She does not balk. She does not argue. She is quiet, treasuring all these things, pondering them deep in her heart.

In Scripture Mary has no witness, no limelight, no special recognition of any kind. Whatever she comprehends about her son, she knows He was given to her. She remembers how. She treasures all this. She ponders things in the quietness of her heart.

I thank God that unto us a Child was born. I thank Him also that there was a pure-hearted woman prepared to receive the promised Child with all that motherhood would mean. I thank Him for her silence, her humility, her faithfulness, her quiet heart.

I want that Mary heart. The deep guarding in her heart of each event...mulling over its meaning... waiting in silence for His word to her. Not Mary HAD a little lamb, but Mary WAS a little lamb--wholly dependent on her Shepherd. I want to respond in unhesitating obedience as she did. Willingly, quietly, steadfastly in the midst of the raucous, noisy, busy, contentious world around me. The world that Jesus loved.

A quiet heart is content with what God gives--and especially with who God is. It is enough. All is grace. 

by Connie Grosse