An angel comes to Mary with good news, “greetings favored one.” I pray for a similar greeting in my life. “God I wish your favor in these circumstances.” My mind immediately goes to comfort, blessing, and success. But what follows in Mary’s life is anything but: hardship, ridicule, difficulty, and obstacles.

Isn’t this how God is birthed into the world? I’m strangely comforted to know that Mary, one favored by God, did not confuse favor with status in the world. For Mary, favor is opportunity.

When our hearts respond like Mary’s, “let it be unto me just as you have said,” God’s very character is conceived in our heart. And through much difficulty can be birthed into our world. Opportunity, surrender, perseverance, and hardship are all included in God’s favor. And it is the pathway God has sanctified to birth the Kingdom of God into our world. I pray you have the courage to respond like Mary today.