At that time, Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:39-40 NIV (emphasis mine)
Is there any woman who has heard the story of the Nativity and has not wondered what it must have been like to be Mary? What do you do when you find yourself pregnant as a young teenage girl and the only explanation you have for your family and your fiancé is “The Holy spirit did it”? How do you explain that an angel has spoken to you? How can you even begin to understand the trials and wonders of a pregnancy when you are a virgin? What is going to happen to you and to this child you are now carrying?
I love to read in the gospel of Luke that Mary’s response was to go find another woman. And who was that woman? The angel had told Mary that Elizabeth was a woman also dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. A woman who also knew how unkind stares of curiosity felt. Elizabeth was a woman who was experiencing a miracle in her life with unique trials in the bargain, just like Mary.
Can you imagine what that house must have been like? Zechariah is unable to speak due to his own encounter with an angel, but Mary and Elizabeth are discussing everything that has happened to them. Elizabeth was busy getting Mary up to date on Zechariah’s experience in the temple which he has only been able to describe in writing. She must have shared with Mary what it was like to find herself pregnant after she thought her childbearing years had long since passed. Mary would have probably told Elizabeth about the angel’s visit to Nazareth. She must have asked Elizabeth so many questions. What a gift God had given them both in each other.
Isn’t that just like our Father? He knows our every need and provides them so often before we even ask. Through the years, He has graciously provided me with many such gifts. This Christmas, I am so very grateful for the many women God has placed in my life.
There are women who are family members who have known me since I wore diapers. In spite of that fact, they still love me. There are women who have walked many years of sometimes joyous, sometimes very difficult days by my side, but have never left me, even though we are now live miles apart. I am so grateful for women who challenge me to think creatively and look to what God has in for me in the next season of life. Other military wives are so very special to me, understanding as no one else can the joys and trials of being a military spouse. I am thankful for the women who have lovingly invested in my life through the years like by mentoring me with the wisdom God had given them as they were farther down the path than I. God has gifted me with many special women for a season of friendship. Some of those relationships are still flourishing through emails and phone calls, even though many miles and/or years separate our time together. And through the wonder of the internet, God has even given me friends this year that I have never met. In spite of this, I feel a special bond of friendship through our wireless connection. So many blessings, so many gifts from God.
One of the calls I hear in my heart is to share with women the enormous gift God has given them in one another. We can not let ourselves become to busy to appreciate the encouragement, teaching, love and support that comes from relationships with other women. Yes, husbands are wonderful and children a treat (some days). In spite of these facts, no one else quite touches our lives like the other women who teach us, who listen to us, who pass as Kleenex when we cry, who look at our family photos, who listen to our triumphs and tragedies, who bring us to the throne of the Father. These are unique gifts. Gifts our loving heavenly Father knew we needed. Gifts like the one Mary must have found through her relationship with Elizabeth.
Who has God given you – at this time . . . . ?
About the Author:
Through years of interacting with women and their families, God has developed a passion in Bettina’s heart for women to accept and embrace their identity in Christ as His princesses. She believes that when women truly know who they are in Christ, it affects how they live their daily lives. God trains her graciously through His word and very often through her own many mistakes.
Bettina is married to a very handsome (now retired) naval reserve officer, Cdr. Rob Dowell, and they live outside Washington, D.C.