"Don't be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!"
Wow. How amazing would that be, to just be going through life serving and doing your thing, then all of a sudden you are told -- by an angel no less -- that you have found favor with God?! That is the ultimate compliment and confirmation that what you're doing is good and right!
I have long considered myself to be a people pleaser. I crave affirmation from everyone -- coworkers, family, friends... It's so hard for me to work at something with all my heart and serve only God and not people. I do love to serve, and I think it's one of my top spiritual gifts. And I won't give up serving just because I don't receive affirmation. I just long for an occasional pat on the back or heartfelt words that what I'm doing is good.
I need Mary's humble servant heart...