Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Birthday Of A King"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 1:35-37 – The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you. The power of the Most High will cover you. The holy Child you give birth to will be called the Son of God. See, your cousin Elizabeth, as old as she is, is going to give birth to a child. She was not able to have children before, but now she is in her sixth month. For God can do all things." (NLV)
Have you ever felt so confused, afraid, or alone that you desperately needed to talk to someone, but no one would understand? Then you can probably identify with Mary after this visit from the angel.
Women who have given birth could probably tell us about the feelings that they experienced when they first found out that they were pregnant. What changes will this bring to my life? How will I learn how to look after a baby?
I often wonder how Mary must have felt — probably completely unworthy to be entrusted with such a special baby as the Son of God. Mary must have really needed another woman to talk to about her pregnancy. She also needed to talk with someone who would understand this miraculous, rumour- and gossip-defying conception by the Holy Spirit. No one locally would have believed that she hadn't been sleeping around. The angel had told her that Elizabeth, her cousin, was also going to have a miraculous baby in her old age. Who would understand Mary's pregnancy better than Elizabeth? So she went to visit Elizabeth, even though it was a long way from Galilee to the hill country of Judea. I can hardly imagine their conversation in the privacy of Elizabeth's home. She could share with Mary the things that only another woman would feel under those amazing circumstances.
Their conversation must have been with some understanding of what God was doing through both of them. It took much faith and trust. It is wonderful that Mary had someone to support her as she struggled to understand: Why me, Lord? It would have made a big difference for Mary visiting Elizabeth, for we don't know who else she could have shared with. We are reminded that if we are given a heavy task to do by God, He will always give us support.
Who do you share with when under great confusion and pain? Yes, you can trust God to provide you, too, with a listening ear and an understanding heart. While in many difficult circumstances, we find ourselves feeling very confused and scared. We can talk to the Lord about it; He will hear us, and send someone into our life to share with love and understanding.
We don't know a lot about Elizabeth; all we know is that she was there just when she was needed. Have you ever shared a worrisome thought with a friend? God will guide you there and the sharing will be divine. Let's pray about those times when we feel bereft and all alone. Let's ask God to send us a friend to share with as we confess our shortcomings and need support. God will be there.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we all have relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, children, grandparents, and close friends. We just need to be open and honest about our inner pain and confusion as we face doing something that we have never done before. Thank You, Lord, for Your guidance given to us today as we share our need with a friend. We pray together in Jesus' name. Amen.