[This is the third in a series devotionals of exploring and learning from Mary's walk with God as written in the book of Luke. First post is found HERE.Second post is found HERE]
Luke 1: 39-44
In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
How perfect are God's plans. This passage reminds me how intricately detailed God's plans for us are and how His plans for us are also His plans for His kingdom.
Oh how I can get so absorbed by what I need God to do in my life and lose sight of the fact that I am called to seek God's will for my life as it was designed to fulfill His plans for me in His kingdom.
Here we see Mary and Elizabeth meeting for the first time since both learning of their pregnancies. Both are carrying children with a calling on their lives that will impact the world. But I am also mindful that each of these women were created for with a calling for God's plan too. Neither knew before hand of this calling, but it was God's plan all the same. God did not ramdomly select 2 women at the moment he decided it was time to bring Christ to the world. God knew the moment of the day that this would occur and He planned the timing and lineage of Mary and Elizabeth for this very purpose.
I have to personally pause here and just take in all that this means to me. Every single person is created in exactly the same way. We are each planned for, created in our mother's wombs at a specific time and place, with a specific lineage and a specific order of birth. Our gifts, our experiences (good and bad), our circle of friends...all of these and more are not done by chance but by plan for God's calling to be played out in our lives.
In today's scripture, I am struck by how all of this is demonstrated in the following way.
God needed John the Baptist to proclaim the coming of the Messiah. He also knew that Mary needed a companion for support on this journey He had called her into. In His great wisdom and perfect planning, He provided for Mary what she would need by fulfilling His plan for John through Mary's Aunt.
God could have accomplished His need for John in any woman He chose. It didn't have to be Elizabeth, but He knew it needed to be Elizabeth. And not just because she was Mary's aunt with whom she was close, but also because of Elizabeth's age. It was because of her age that Elizabeth could relate to the amazing circumstances of Mary's calling too. And vice versa. Mary had a companion she knew could relate to her miraculous calling in a way no other could.
Mary has surrendered her life to a calling in which she will face issues like fear, ridicule, questioning from others and even internally as she faces each new day of not just the birth but as the mother of this Child of God. God has made accomodations for this in advance, as part of His perfect plan. Elizabeth is more than a person of comfort; her home is a place of refuge and protection for Mary.
As you surrender your life to the calling of Christ do you have fears? Are the choices you know you need to make to give complete surrender of your decisions and actions over to the glory of God put you in a position for ridicule by those around you? Do you have questions?
Who is your Elizabeth? Don't you know that God has given each of us an Elizabeth in our lives that we can go to for comfort, compassion, wisdom and intercessory prayer because they have experienced things in their lives that give them the ability to relate to what you are going through and provide these things you need?
I confess that for too many years I let personal wounds and walls I had built for personal protection keep me from seeing and reaching out to the Elizabeths God was providing for me. Maybe today's scripture is a good reminder for each of us to spend some time at the table with God and ask Him to show us who He has provided for us in our journey, just as He did for Mary and Elizabeth.
And don't forget to ask the question in reverse. Who's Elizabeth are you? What experiences have you been through or are going through right now that give you insight that could provide wisdom, comfort or compassion to a person God has placed in your life? Ask Him to reveal that person to you and be open to His response. Sometimes it's not the person you are closest to, but one that is removed from you or a recent introduction. Sometimes it requires us to step out of a comfort zone of a certain social circle.
When we seek the answer to who our Elizabeth is and vice versa, we are blessed beyond measure.