And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Perhaps the most important thing for Mary to understand as she embarked on this new path for her life was this promise from the angel’s greeting that the Lord was with her. Perhaps this is what assured her and carried her through those most difficult days of her pregnancy, the fear and uncertainty of what awaited her in this role as the mother of Jesus. Perhaps this one simple fact was enough to enable her to face everything that would come into her life from this moment on. And God was faithful to His promise every step of the way.
Aren’t we better able to carry on in whatever we are facing when we can know this truth for ourselves? When our world has been turned upside down or some storm is raging or it feels like everything precious is slipping away from us, just knowing God is with us changes everything. Because when He is with us, then surely He will help us, He will provide for us, He will enable us to move forward. If He is with us, then we don’t go alone no matter who else would abandon us or cast us aside. If the Lord is near, then we can endure and we can face an uncertain future and we can overcome trials and challenges and, more than that, we can have peace for the duration of the journey.
Surely Mary wondered if Joseph would still marry her, if her family would forsake her, if her people would reject her. Surely she understood there would be challenges and hardships to come. But whenever anxieties arose, all she had to do was think back on these comforting words and know that she could make it through. And we also have this promise to rely on whenever a challenge comes or a call from the Lord takes us away from everything we had planned and prepared for ourselves. He will not lead us somewhere only to abandon us, but He is faithfully by our side until the end.
The truth is that struggles are a part of life. Hardships and difficulties of many kinds come into our lives. Sometimes God’s will for us is for us to endure something challenging even if it’s a very good thing. And no matter where we are or what we are facing, He promises to be with us. The angel had come to bring the message of Emmanuel, God with us, to Mary, and surely she would discover how true it was. Our God is a very personal God. Our God will come close. He will step into our world and into our lives and go with us every step of the way.