Here’s Mary. She’s been told that she is going to bring forth the Messiah, the Savior, the King. This has been promised to her by an angel.
But things aren’t looking so good.
Her fiancé almost left her when he found out she was pregnant. Perhaps her family and friends actually did leave her – we hear nothing about them, and she and Joseph were alone when it came time to give birth. Far away from home, with no support system, no help. Stuck in a barn – no place for anybody to be, much less a place to give birth. Much less a place to give birth to a King.
How must that all have seemed to Mary? She had to start doubting everything. Maybe it was all a dream? Maybe she was going crazy?
Maybe she started talking to God, maybe a little less reverently than you’d expect. “Yeah, right, God! Sure, you promised that this special thing was going to happen, but what about this? What about right now? It doesn’t look so good, God. In fact, it looks pretty bad.”
But here’s something interesting to consider. In Judaism, everything starts in darkness. The day starts the night before – it runs from sunset to sunset – not sunrise to sunset. The month starts at the new moon – when it is darkest. When you can’t see anything.
This is God’s way.
Anything good starts when it seems like things are at their worst. The lowest point is the beginning.
Remember “It is always darkest before the dawn”, and “It can only get better”? That. A thousand times that.
When things seem to be at their darkest, that is when God is working the hardest, bringing forth the Light.