29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God!31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
Confused and disturbed… diatarassó
The version I have used above breaks down the Greek word diatarassó into two words to try and emphasise its meaning. This is the only place in the Bible we find this word. It means: properly and acutely distressed. It is a word of intensity, distressed through and through, greatly disturbed; intensely going back-and-forth between inner thoughts and emotions.
What did this angel mean by this news? After all, to her the only way to become pregnant would be to have sex. Perhaps she’d concluded what would happen next.
Then the voice of the angel speaks again: Don’t be afraid. He goes on to explain what will happen, that she will bear a son to be a King whose kingdom will never end!
Mary speaks for the first time: But how?
God’s ways are higher than our ways and so often we approach God’s ways through the limitations of our ways. But It’s ok to ask.. But how?
Maybe you’re in a confused and disturbed place like Mary, a place where you can’t see a way out other than a way you don’t want to go. God says those very precious words that I’d encourage you to hold onto: Do not be afraid
Or Maybe God’s asking you to be someone, do something, witness in a different way and you’re unsure, and you’re asking the question: but how?
It’s ok to ask that question, but don’t let it limit what God might have in store!