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by Darlene L. Turner

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled." Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38 (NIV)

She rummaged through the garbage looking for nourishment. Not necessarily for herself but for the life growing inside her. Even though this pregnancy wasn't of her own choosing, her foster parents threw her out of their home anyway. They didn't believe her when she told them of the incident with the man next door. How he got her alone and fulfilled his desires.

Two months later, on her 16th birthday, the test revealed her pregnancy.

An alley cat screeched, causing her to jump. She pulled her winter coat closer and peered over her shoulder. The illuminated cross from a nearby church caught her attention.

A thought tumbled through her mind. Where was God on that night? Why didn't He stop him?

Even though she was angry with God, she moved toward the church. Maybe a door was open and she could sneak in out of the cold, dreary night. Maybe God would help her just this once.

She pulled on the front door. Locked.

Figures.

Leaning her back against the door, she slid down and sat on the cold cement steps. She hugged her knees to her chest.

And sobbed.

"You know God has chosen you and the baby, don't you?"

She gasped and bolted to her feet.

A large African American man with a torn toque and tattered coat stood before her. Where did he come from?

She glanced both in both directions. Trapped.

He stepped forward. "Myah, I'm not going to hurt you."

Her eyes widened. "How do you know my name?"

"God sent me." He held a loaf of bread out. "Here, eat this."

Her mouth watered as she glanced at the prize before her. Going against everything she'd been taught, she grabbed it out of his hand.

"Who are you?"

"Gabe."

"What do you want?" She took a bite.

He chuckled. "Nothing. I just came to deliver you a message. The child growing inside you will be used by God in a way you could never imagine."

"God? Where was He when this happened? Where was He when I was thrown out onto the street?"

Gabe wrapped his scarf tighter around his neck. "Right beside you. He has a plan, Myah. Just trust."

"How can I when I'm all alone?"

"You'll find out. Look." He pointed to the side of the church. "Go inside and you'll discover what's next for you."

Myah glanced in the direction of his finger. An open window on the lower level. She could almost feel the warmth.

"But, how will I know?" She turned back to the man.

He was gone. Vanished.

Did she just wake up from a dream? No, the bread in her hands told her he was real.

Myah ran to the open window, bent down, and slipped inside.

Do you ever wonder what went through Mary's mind when Gabriel appeared to her? Did it frighten her to think she would not only be pregnant at such a young age but also carry the Saviour of the world? How could it not?

What can we learn from Mary?

Even though she was frightened, she didn't run. It tells us in Luke that Mary was troubled by the appearance of Gabriel. Well, who wouldn't be? It's not every day an angel appears, tells you you're going to carry the Saviour of the world, and then vanishes. Remember, she was only a young teen. However, Mary stood her ground. She didn't flee. How many times have we been faced with something scary and ran away? We need to stay in God's word and look to Him for help. He’ll take us through.

Mary trusted and accepted what the angel said. She heard the news and took her responsibility seriously. She trusted God would help her through. Think about it…she would be pregnant while still a virgin! I can just hear the murmuring of everyone in her village. They probably shunned her. I'm sure she felt alone. Are there times in life when you know what God is telling you, but it goes against what others would agree with? Or maybe you're doing something God called you to do and others doubt you? Trust, knowing you're doing what He wants.

As we start this Christmas season, let's remember the young teen that brought our Saviour into the world. It wasn't an easy task for Mary to hold her head up high and keep going. However, she did it. Maybe there's something God is telling you to do during this season. Trust and obey.






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