God knows what’s in our hearts. He hears the words we speak and knows what sources them: doubt or faith, reluctance or willingness, fear of man or fear of God.

Two well-regarded people in the New Testament asked almost identical questions, yet they received opposite responses because of what was underneath their words:

Zechariah: How can I be sure this will happen?
Mary: But how can this happen?

Zechariah, it seems, was filled with doubt. Mary, on the other hand, was filled with wonder. The angel Gabriel delivered miraculous news to both. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth would have a son (John the Baptist), but they were long past the years of fertility. Mary would also have a son (Jesus), but she was a virgin. Their shock was understandable.

Yet … God had spoken, and when God gives His word, He makes a way.

God muted Zechariah’s voice on account of his unbelief, and while he quietly pondered God’s promise—for many months, Mary magnified the Lord in song (Luke 1:46-55).

Saying yes to God opens our hearts to wonder and joy. Where God gives His word, He makes a way. Watch, and see what He does.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. …
He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
(Luke 1:46-50 ESV)