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And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for
you have found favor with God" (Luke 1:30).
Read Luke 1:26-29.
Frustration is sitting on the floor with six or seven strings
of Christmas lights all tangled together. After a short
struggle I gave up and handed the whole mess to dad.
And even though I'd left the tangled ball of wire and lights
even more tightly tangled than before, in dad's skilled
Navy hands they were untangled and ready for the tree
in a jiffy.
When Mary heard the greeting of the angel Gabriel, she
was frustrated, confused, perplexed and greatly troubled-
like I felt trying to untangle the lights. A debate began
raging back and forth in her mind as she considered what
the greeting meant. Why had the angel come? What
message would he bring?
There is so much confusion in life. Just like Mary we try to
pick through the tangled pieces of our lives and see if we
can make sense out of them. Our minds go back and forth
from one point of view to another, from faith to doubt, from
confidence to uncertainty, from comfort to fear.
Thankfully, nothing is a mystery for God. He arranges
everything according to His loving plan. He assures us, "I
know the plans I have for you ... plans for welfare and not
for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (see Jeremiah 29:11).
The most important part of that plan was starting to fall into
place right now. God's own Son is becoming human, so He
can live a perfect life and suffer on the cross in our place to
win eternal life for all of us.
 Heavenly Father, life can be very confusing. In such times
remind me to cast my cares into Your hands so I may live
in peace and quietness. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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