When I was a little girl, I would get so excited to the point of my toes tingling. Did that happen to anyone else or was it just me? No? Just me? That’s okay, my mom thought it was a bit strange too, but that’s at least how she knew I was really excited. I would tell her, “I’m tingling from my head to my toes!” She would release an enduring laugh and shake her head, filing away the cherished memory as one of her “Jordan moments” as she would call it. My toes don’t tingle as much now, unless the Holy Spirit has something to do with it. In a way, that’s how I imagine Mary feeling when the Holy Spirit moved over her. She was probably overwhelmed and excited all at the same time when the Spirit of God greeted her with good news; she would be the mother to the Savior of the World. I can only imagine in that moment she might have had a twinge of fear accompanied with great excitement in the anticipation of what was to come.
I wish my first response to God asking something big of me was “Yes!” I would be lying to myself and you if I didn’t say I tense up a little at first because I know it’s going to cost. I don’t always know what the cost is. There’s always that twinge of fear; Mary likely felt it. She was troubled, apprehensive, wary of what would be asked of her. Yet, I take comfort in God knowing that I feel this way too. He made me. He knows that I am scared at first, nervous to take that step; but instead of shaming me, He leans in closer, reaffirms that I have found favor with Him. There’s the turning point. I’m no longer afraid, but excited for the best kept secret God is about to let me in on.
Mary’s heart allowed her to say yes. Aren’t we all thankful that she did? Her willingness brought us the greatest gift- salvation. She had to say yes to the cost and so do we. We have to say yes to the cost of whatever God is asking us to do: pay for someone’s coffee at the Caffeinery, start a conversation with a stranger, open up our home for the holidays, forgive someone we’ve been meaning to forgive, or take the next step in our faith.
What makes me chuckle is the meager cost for the greatest reward. In the divine encounters with God, the one who chose me, I have the choice to fixate my attention on the fears summoned by the revelation God has revealed, or give myself wholly to where God is leading me. Only when we choose the latter will we be able to be let into the best kept secret- an invitation to use our lives for bringing the good news to the world. Mary’s just happened to be the announcement of the Savior. What is yours going to be?