My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name. Luke 1:46, 49 (NIV).
One Saturday, our daughter and her husband invited us to meet them for dinner at a restaurant. As we finished, our daughter handed us a gift.
“What’s this?” I asked. “It’s not a special occasion.”
“Open it and see.” They both grinned.
Inside we found a photo frame inscribed with, “I love Grandpa and Grandma.” These were new titles for us. It was indeed a special occasion–the unexpected announcement that we would become grandparents. What exciting news! Our firstborn was expecting her firstborn.
In the book of Luke, a young woman named Mary also received a surprise announcement. She, too, became pregnant, but her circumstances appeared less than ideal. As an unmarried virgin, rumors and stigma would be connected with her pregnancy. Even Joseph, her fiance’, planned to break the engagement after he heard about her situation.
What was Mary’s response to this life-changing news? Did she wring her hands, complain, or ask, “Why me?” No, she praised God. Her beautiful song is recorded for us to read and emulate. Mary glorified the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior (vv. 46-47). She recognized God’s sovereignty and acknowledged His plan to bless future generations through her (v. 48). The Message expresses her joyful response this way: “I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened–I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten.”
Mary’s jubilant response startles me. It was easy to praise God when our daughter announced her pregnancy. But how would I have reacted if Mary were my daughter–or if I had been Mary? Do I praise God when he allows unexpected events to enter my life? May I grow to respond like Mary: “My soul glorifies the Lord…for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.”
My response: Sovereign Lord, thank you for the example of Mary, who was willing to fulfill your purposes. Thank you for her song of praise that shows me how to worship you. Help me, like Mary, to see the unexpected things that enter my life as occasions to praise you.
TO PONDER IN YOUR HEART: Mary praised God from the overflow of an overwhelmed heart. Do I?
About Lydia Harris
Lydia E. Harris is happily married to Milt, her sweetheart for 48 years. She has two married children, five grandkids, and is the author of a Bible study, "Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting" (AMG Publishers, 2010 release). She's also a tea enthusiast and writes the column "A Cup of Tea with Lydia."