Mary’s famous response to Gabriel’s announcement that she will bear the Son of God should always humble us and encourage us: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Mary didn’t have the full picture. She must have been completely caught off guard. But she has the composure to ask one question, and then settle the matter by affirming her obedience, her willing spirit, her faith and reverence. She assumes the position of a servant who joyfully submits to her Master’s plans for her.
Humility is like this. Mary’s faith is quiet and thoughtful. She considered (Luke 1:29); she pondered (Luke 2:19); she marveled (Luke 2:33); she kept (Luke 2:51). Humility believes and trusts.
So what can we learn from Mary? Respond in faith. God is “working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight” (Heb. 13:20-21). We have been created to do the good works that God has already planned for us (Eph. 2:10). We don’t need to understand it all or know the outcome. Our duty is to be the Lord’s maidservant, eager for God to have His way with us. And the glorious thing is that when He works His will in us, it pleases God. So it goes full circle. He works in us, we joyfully embrace what He calls us to do, and He is well pleased with the result.