Fresh Hope – 13th December 2018

Can you even imagine how Mary would have felt? An angel comes before you and tells you that you are going to birth a baby…as a virgin!? In a society that heavily shames women falling pregnant outside of marriage?! We are not surprised by Mary’s response: ‘But how could this happen?’ (Luke 1:34).

Those words … ‘but how’.

God promises to birth something great in all of our lives, and yet often our response is like that of Mary, ‘but how?’.

‘Gabriel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you’ (Luke 1:35). How did Mary conceive and birth something great? Only by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Like Mary, we cannot conceive and birth something powerful without the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. It is when He comes upon us, His power overshadowing us that we can then do what we have to.

Sometimes the good thing that God is building and birthing in the spiritual doesn’t appear that wonderful in the natural. In fact, like Mary, it can mess things up in the natural…a lot. Mary’s pregnancy wouldn’t have been looked upon too favourably, yet it was in fact favour from God that she was walking in. It was a gift given from God BECAUSE ‘the Lord found delight in her and chose to surprise her with a wonderful gift’ (Luke 1:30). What was being shamed on the outside, was in fact greatness on the inside. ‘A baby boy…He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as king … and his reign will have no limit’ (Luke 1:31-33). This unplanned pregnancy would be our Saviour.

God is doing great things in all of us. What the world, or even ourselves can misconceive based on external judgements, can in fact be the pending birth of something great. Perhaps like Mary you can feel like the ‘delight, favour, and gifts’ of God aren’t evident in the natural. Yet God is in fact about to deliver something great through you. Like Mary, painful realities, are incubators for greatness. And like Mary, we can only do it by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit!


Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.