The angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” —Luke 1:28

We don’t know much about Mary, but the culture of the day suggests that this resident of the small town of Nazareth was young, and her offering of pigeons when Jesus was dedicated at the temple implies that she was probably poor. We can imagine that Mary was thankful for her husband-to-be, a hardworking and respectable man of God named Joseph. Maybe her thoughts and prayers were of grateful anticipation of all that awaited her as a wife and mother.

Yet the God who knows hearts had bigger plans for Mary: He chose her to be the mother of His Son. He knew that she would yield her life to His plan—as we see in her song of praise (Luke 1:46–55). God knew Mary would raise Jesus with wisdom and grace and teach Him all she knew about the one true God and Scripture. Such traits meant much more to God than Mary’s age, social status, or financial situation. All that mattered to Him was her heart. Thankfully, God’s priorities haven’t changed.

Remember with gratitude that God knows your heart for Him as He knew Mary’s, and He plans amazing things for you as well.

Thank You, Lord, for stepping into our ordinary days and surprising us with unimaginable plans!

Zondervan. 2018. 365 Devotions for a Thankful Heart. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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