ago, there lived a young woman named Mary. Some might have said
she was empty, because she didn't have many nice things, but she
was full of the joy that comes from a clear conscience and a heart
full of love. Mary was engaged to a strong, yet tender man whose
name was Joseph.
Mary, just like you or me, was not
perfect. However, she tried to live a life of purity before God
to the best of her ability. Because of that, she did not have to
fear getting caught, and she did not have to deal with the shame
that comes with sin. She had a good reputation with all who knew
One day, all that changed for Mary
when she received a mysterious visitor who walked right into
Mary's house and greeted her as though he knew her.
He said something like this, "Hello,
dear lady. Because of your closeness to God you are much loved and
blessed above all other women."
Naturally, Mary was a bit worried.
Wouldn't you be? She probably wondered if this strange guy was a
prophet or an axe murderer.
But he continued, "Don't be afraid,
Mary. As you know, your people have long been waiting for a Saviour.
God sent me to tell you that the Saviour will soon be born, and
you have been chosen out of all the women in the world to be His
mother. Your baby will be the King of all eternity!"
Somehow, Mary sensed that this heavenly
visitor and his message were genuine. However, his words were so
unusual, so unexpected, that she could hardly make sense of them.
She was going to have a baby? How
could that be? Mary was innocent, but she knew that babies did not
happen without physical intimacy with a man, and Mary had kept herself
She asked the angel to explain how
this could happen, and he told her that her baby would be conceived
unlike any other. "Your baby will not be the son of Joseph or
any other man. He will be the Son of God, conceived through the
Holy Ghost and the power of God," he said.
Perhaps Mary looked confused, even
incredulous, because the angel continued, "Mary, with God, nothing
The angel gave Mary some proof that
what he said
was true. "You know that
your cousin Elisabeth was told long ago that she was unable to have
children, and she is now too old to become pregnant, but, Mary,
Elisabeth is now six months pregnant."
Mary had not dreamed it was possible
for Elisabeth to have a baby this late in life, and she knew how
her cousin had longed to get pregnant for years without success.
If Elisabeth was pregnant, Mary knew what the stranger told her
would surely come true, so she'd better get ready.
"I'll willingly submit to whatever
will God has for my life," she told the angel. Then he left, and
Mary practically ran to the city where her cousin lived.
It was true! Mary's cousin Elizabeth
was experiencing a miraculous pregnancy as well! Together, they
praised God for working a miracle in their lives, and they prepared
themselves for the task God had in store for them.
Mary yielded to God's will, although
His will was far different than what she had planned for her life.
Being chosen by God was a special honor, but at the time no one
believed her story, so she was the topic of scandal and shame. Instead
of complaining that she couldn't do what she wanted, Mary allowed
God to rearrange her plans and then praised Him for counting her
worthy to be a part of His greater plan.
How do we compare to Mary? Are we
living lives of purity, so that God can fulfill the plan He has
As He transforms us, do we complain
or praise Him? Are we more worried that our classmates may find
us odd, or more thankful that God cares enough about us to change
us into something more beautiful and perfect?
The Bible says, "But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood
and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man
therefore purge himself…he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified,
and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity,
peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
(II Timothy 2:20-22)
Let's try to be more like Mary: prepared
for God's use, willing to serve Him, and trusting God to work out
the details. Mary was a true "purity girl." Are you?