When the Angel Gabriel visited Mary, he recognized that she had been particularly and uniquely gifted. She was full of the grace of God and the perfect woman to participate in God's plan of salvation. What the angel spoke were new and unfamiliar words: "full of grace". (Luke 1: 28) Although Mary recognized the angel was a messenger of God, she was initially "troubled" by the greeting. It was not so much the angel's majestic appearance, but the words he used that caught Mary off guard.
How often are we also caught off guard and startled when someone recognizes something in us that we have yet to see in ourselves? Could it be that a compliment that we have readily dismissed or deflected is really God's attempt to call our attention to the gift He wants for us to recognize?
Over the next few weeks, ponder the gifts that God has already given you. These are not only the circumstances of your life, your education, location, or family of origin...but the gifts include your beautiful smile, your encouraging heart, or your ability to patiently listen. Your gift may be a supernatural ability to forgive or a heart open to hosting a wide variety of people in your home. The gifts that are under the tree are not the most important that you will ever receive. The gift that God is waiting for you to discover more fully is inside your soul and cultivating it will change your life forever.
Recognize the Lord speaking to you through the voices of your family, friends, or acquaintances. When someone acknowledges you....ponder, as Mary did, "what sort of greeting this might be". (Luke 1:29) Enter into the conversation, as Mary did.
Tomorrow, we will discover the outcome of Mary's prayer and pondering.