Our youngest daughter, Emma, wasn’t a “surprise baby,” per se, but we were a little caught off guard that my wife became pregnant with her within a few weeks of trying. We knew a baby might come; we just didn’t know when. But God wasted no time sending her to us.
Though we were surprised by Emma’s conception, it’s no understatement to say that we weren’t as surprised at Mary in Luke 1. My wife and I knew a baby was a possibility, but Mary had no clue. She was a virgin; how could she possibly conceive a child?
Mary was a God-fearing woman. She was scared when God called to her, but she trusted Him. What she thought was impossible—a virgin becoming pregnant—was not impossible for God. Though bewildered, Mary believed God could do anything.
Now, think about this: Mary knew her reputation could be smeared by the conception of Jesus. She knew Joseph might assume the worst and leave her. She knew she hadn’t planned to be pregnant. But none of this mattered. “May it be done to me according to Your word,” she said (Luke 1:38).
When my wife and I found out that we’d conceived Emma so suddenly, we were a bit confused too. We were grateful to God, but we also experienced a little panic. What if we couldn’t pay the bills? What if something went wrong? What if our eldest daughter felt lonely? What if we can’t love her as much as we want to? These were not the silliest of concerns, but we definitely did not respond immediately with, “May it be done to me according to Your word.”
Mary knew God had a plan. And did He ever! He was sending His only Son into the world. Mary’s son would be no ordinary baby—He was the eternal Son of God taking on flesh. He was God in a body, entering His own creation on the greatest mission trip of all time (John 1:1-14; Philippians 2:5-11).
Mary could’ve seen this pregnancy as a curse. She could’ve turned and run from the angel, doing all she could to avoid the inevitable. But instead, her God-fearing heart was open to receive the greatest gift ever sent.
This Advent season, may we rejoice in all the gifts God gives us. May we never call His gift a curse, and may we never overlook His grace. By grace through faith in Christ, we receive Him as a gift, and much more (Ephesians 1:3-14).
Written By Brandon D. Smith