Last week, we read how Mary was preparing her heart for the birth of Jesus. Lovingly tucked inside that story is a picture of two women at different stages in their lives and yet experiencing the same miracle.
Elizabeth. Luke chapter 1 tells us that she is married, is well-advanced in years, and so far has been childless.
Mary. We know that she is a young teenage girl, never married, and most-likely still living with her parents.
Two women who are in two different seasons.
Two women who are experiencing the same thing: unexpected pregnancy.
One pregnancy comes years after she has suffered. Infertility? Miscarriages? We don’t know for sure. We do know it was so unexpected that when an angel visited her husband to tell him about it, he didn’t believe it would happen (Luke 1:18-23). (Side note: the angel also made Zechariah unable to speak. Imagine going through your entire pregnancy and your husband has lost the ability to verbally communicate. I would shop for that new baby non-stop … what’s he gonna say?)
The other pregnancy also came at a time in a girl’s life that was not the norm. In fact, we know from Matthew 1:18-24 that the man she was betrothed to secretly considered not going through with it.
Both accounts of that very first Christmas focus on the key people in the story, but we know that there were others. What of Mary’s parents? Their friends? Elizabeth’s friends? Their neighbors? Their synagogue? Every word recorded about Mary and Elizabeth (and even Joseph and Zechariah) focuses on their unabashed praise and angelic visits. Can you imagine trying to tell your friends that the angel Gabriel came and talked to you?
Did everyone believe their story?
Sometimes I wonder what drove Mary to visit Elizabeth. We know that she made the journey after finding out about her pregnancy.She was traveling to something, but was she also traveling away from something? Not everyone believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Did the rumors start long before his public ministry at the age of 30?
What impossible, too-good-to-be-true, ain’t got time for that vision has been planted in your heart? When it finally happens the way, the how, and the when that God intended, how did those close to you respond?
I wish I could hold your hand and look into your eyes when I say this: find someone in your life who praises God in the midst of supernatural circumstances. One of the most well-known passages of scripture is Mary’s prayer. Notice when she says it. Not after the visit from the angel telling her she would conceive. It is after she goes to Elizabeth and Elizabeth greets her with life-changing words: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!” (Luke 1:45). Then she launches into a song of praise that I think even the angels joined in.
Perhaps it’s different. Perhaps there is a young girl in your life that needs the encouragement and support that only comes from years of doing life in the trenches. This Christmas, will you decide in your heart to speak life over your younger sisters? Let’s decide to be the Elizabeth to someone else’s Mary.
If you don’t have someone in your life that will encourage you, please know that this little community of women exists for the purpose of speaking the words of Jesus, his life and light, into your heart. If you need support today, please let us know.