I contributed this brief article to Gentle Leading’s Mama Advent Devotional, an email series for moms about how the coming of Christ fulfills a longing we experience in motherhood. It’s not too late to sign up!
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was minding her own business when a fearful thing happened: She was visited by an angel of the Lord with extraordinary news.
And 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 bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30–33)
Mary was overwhelmed by such a divine visitation (v. 29), let alone by the astonishing news that she would carry God’s Son in her womb. This would be a miracle of undeserved grace, and an exercise of her trust in God. I wonder about the questions that might have crossed her mind: What would her family think when she was suddenly pregnant? What would Joseph think? What would it look like to raise God’s Son?
In our longing to be free from fear, we can take Mary’s story to heart. God hasn’t spoken to us by an angel, but he has spoken to us through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2). The baby he conceived in Mary’s womb is the Savior and Lord who frees us from fear and calls us to trust.
What fears are weighing on your mind right now? Maybe it’s your kids’ safety and wellbeing. Maybe it’s your own fear of getting sick this winter and having to mother through it. Maybe you’re wondering what your kids will think when the gifts under the tree are few this year. Maybe you struggle with the fear of inadequacy and failure, or the fear of being judged by others.
Me too, Momma. I long to be free from these fears, to live day-by-day, moment-by-moment with a deepening trust in God’s character and heart. The good news is that God says to us what he said to Mary: “Do not be afraid.” We see in her story three truths that will increasingly free us from fear.