“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word”
I like to prepare for a test. Pop quizzes can catch a person completely off-guard. I think Mary's encounter with Gabriel has to be one of the all-time greatest surprise tests. Without warning, she meets an angel with a remarkable promise, and has the preparation of heart to completely accept it. No push-back. No resistance. No awkward unbelief.
Could I say in an instant, “I am the servant of the Lord?”
Jesus taught that one's response is a manifestation of the heart's condition. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34). Abundance means we don't have to look far to find what we're seeking. We all have an abundance of thoughts. What kind are they? Mary's heart had an abundance of servant thoughts, thus when service was needed she could easily offer it. On the throne of her heart sat God Himself. He was Lord; she was His servant. Is this phrase ready in me?
What I think about prepares me for one result or its opposite. Mary, because of the abundance of her thoughts was ready in faith. Zechariah, her relative, met the same angel 6 months earlier and wasn't ready. He was unbelieving when the angel announced Elizabeth his wife would become pregnant with John the Baptist. He had stopped thinking God would give him a baby and started thinking God wouldn't. When his moment came, he wasn't ready to answer with submission and faith.
In working with people, I find paying attention to one's thinking will cultivate an abundance of fruitful thoughts. Like an unattended garden, we all tend toward weedy thinking unless we cultivate the soil of our thoughts. Meditate on Mary's statement to Gabriel as your own heart preparation for whatever you face.
Try carrying her statement with you to whatever comes today and say, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word."