Some time ago my dad wrote the book Can You Stand to Be Blessed? I was too young to read it when it released, but as I’m typing this, I can hear the title ringing so clearly in my mind.
I want to confront the part of you that will set goals, execute visions, trust God’s provision, but then go to bed at night wondering if you truly deserve God’s blessing. The short answer is no. You don’t deserve it—none of us does. Yet God doesn’t relate to us based on what we deserve, or Adam and Eve would have been dead on arrival the moment they ate from the fruit. God deals with us based on how He sees us.
When the angel of the Lord came to Mary, she had to be willing to lay aside what she thought she knew about herself so that she could discover what God knew. Mary’s initial response to the visitation from the angel gives us insight into how she perceived the honor of being chosen to carry glory.
And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” (Luke 1:28-31)
The angel’s greeting suggested that Mary should begin rejoicing, but the text lets us know that instead of rejoicing she was troubled. Because we know how this story ends, we can understand why she would be troubled by the idea of being a virgin mother, but take another look at the text. The angel didn’t tell Mary that she was going to give birth to the Messiah. All the angel said was that Mary was highly favored and blessed among women.
History tells us that Mary was an ordinary Jewish girl, but this text lets us know that she was only ordinary by man’s standards. By God’s standards, Mary was highly favored and blessed.
To embrace the reality that you are blessed among women, you have to break out of the mentality of thinking you’re ordinary. That doesn’t mean other women aren’t blessed. It means that you have been blessed among women who have also been blessed in their own ways.
Sarah Jakes Roberts talks with Sheila Walsh this Wednesday on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Woman Evolve by Sarah Jakes Roberts. Copyright ©2021 Sarah Jakes Roberts. Published by W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.