Luke 1:34 tells us Mary’s response to the angel when she is told she will carry the Son of God, “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?'”
Doubt, a tinge of hesitation, apprehension, suspicion, and mistrust, can cripple us if we allow it. “I can’t pass this test.” “They would never accept me as a friend.” “I could never be elected.” “They’ll never hire me.” “Why would God want to use me!”
We all do it. We all experience doubt. Often, when I read the words, “Do not fear…” in the scriptures, I replace the word fear and substitute the word doubt.
Really, when Mary questions the angel, she is asking, “Do I qualify?”
Doubt makes us believe we are unqualified to do what God is asking us to do. We tell ourselves we could never go on a mission trip to a third world country – we aren’t qualified. We could never go back to school and earn a degree – we aren’t smart enough. We could never tithe 10% of our income – we can’t pay the bills as it is. On and on, doubt, doubt, doubt…
In Luke 1:30 the angel tells Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.” Let’s change the words for the sake of perspective, “Do not doubt, Mary, you have found favor with God.”
It isn’t so much at times being nail-biting afraid as it is a lack of confidence that we are capable. But if we aren’t able to do it, why would God ask us? Moses worried that he couldn’t measure up because he stuttered. Gideon felt he was the least of the tribes. He didn’t qualify for battle! Abraham questioned God because he was an old man. Zechariah questioned Him as well. Realizing the incredible impact these people made for God, I wonder, how could they worry about qualifying? The fact that they did lets us know they are just like you and me.
“Do not doubt, Mary, you have found favor with God.”
Remember Isaiah 66:9, “‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God.”
Our Father asks us with confidence. We need to answer with confidence as well.