“During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to a virgin girl who lived in Nazareth, a town in Galilee. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord is with you; you are very special to him.”” Luke 1:26-28 ERV
Have you ever wanted to be “special” to someone?
For those of us who are people-pleasers, it probably meant we worked overtime to get someone’s attention and then worked equally hard to make ourselves indispensable to them. The only thing we strove for was to hear that elusive complement or affirmation that we were valuable and loved.
Sometimes it worked – we received the affirmations we needed. Other times, people walked all over us, taking advantage of our neediness without providing the positive affirmation we so desperately wanted. Been there and done that….
But imagine for a moment having the God of the universe send an angel to you to tell you that you were “special” to him and he had a job for you.
Mary wasn’t anyone important – she wasn’t the daughter of a rich or important family, although she was a descendant of King David as Luke points out in his gospel. But her family was as poor and nondescript as most of the families in the land of Judah at that time. She had never done anything to stand out in a crowd to attract God’s favor. She was a normal Jewish girl.
So why would God single her out?
She met the qualifications:
a. Family-wise, she was a direct descendant of King David. She was engaged to a man who was also from David’s direct line so there could be no doubt of the child’s family tree in the fulfillment of prophecy.
b. Physically, she was a virgin of child-bearing age, which fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus would be conceived miraculously.
c. Personality-wise, she was a courageous young woman, willing to do what God asked her, even if it meant being ostracized by her family and friends, and willing to face death if needed (to be an unwed and pregnant Jewish girl could mean a death by stoning).
d. Spiritually, she had the same tender heart toward God that her ancestor David had. She was yielded to God, willing to allow him to do whatever he wanted with her life.
Sure she had some doubts and fears about everything. Who wouldn’t? But her heart was right.
Like Mary, God is seeking us out to be part of his family – not because we are “special” or good enough or important enough. No. He’s seeking us out because he made us and he wants us to be a part of his family. Because of that, he works with us, making us special and polishing the uniqueness that he placed in us – our talents, abilities and those other great things we didn’t know we possessed.
He seeks us out because he loves us. His love makes us special to him; it’s not about anything we can do for him.
It took me a long time to understand and accept that – and actually, I’m still working on it since the people-pleasing parts of my personality were cast in concrete during my formative years. But the journey has been invigorating and blessed!
I’m inviting you to join me on this journey. Let Jesus show you how special you are to him – not because of who or what you are; not because of anything you’ve done; but because you are His!