Have you ever had a friend show up at just the right moment? Perhaps you were going through a tough time, and without prior planning, the friend showed up just when you needed them most. Have you ever been that kind of friend to someone else?
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:41 – NIV
It’s early, much too dark and rainy for my usual morning walk. I find my cozy chair by the fire instead. The white lights on my mantle are glowing, the colored lights of my Christmas tree twinkling.
Hot tea in hand, I stare into the flames and ponder, contemplating the flames of another fire, in another much simpler home, in another time so long ago. Two women sit cozily by the fire, their hands clasped around mugs of hot tea. Two women, one so very young, the other older, conversing softly,sharing their stories. Two women, not mother and daughter, but cousins, connected by something more than mere family ties.
Two women brought together by circumstances they couldn’t quite explain. Two women comparing notes, discussing signs, bonded by the shared experience of and unexpected pregnancy. Two women, hands pressed lightly on their growing bellies, each wondering what the future will hold. Two women, one married for many years and presumed to be barren, the other, a young virgin betrothed to a much older man. Two women, each learning of their pregnancies in a far from typical way. Two women whispering by the firelight, telling each other a story that others could not quite believe. Two women, eyes glistening with tears of amazement, voices trembling as they each recalled their own angelic visitation.
What was it like for mary and Elizabeth, sitting there in the firelight? Was Mary’s heart still glowing with the memory of Elizabeth’s joyful greeting? Was she surprised when Elizabeth exclaimed that the child within her womb had leapt for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice? Was Elizabeth still shaking her head in amazement over the events that had brought her and her cousin to this point?
Mary must have felt such relief to dwell in the safety and acceptance of Elizabeth. For the much older and experienced Elizabeth, the opportunity to mentor and shepherd young Mary must have multiplied her joy.
God had a good plan for these two women, a big plan, a plan so big that it required angelic messengers to set it in motion. But God didn’t forget the details. He cared about the small stuff. He knew the difficulties each of these chosen women would face, so He brought them together to bring comfort to one another. God didn’t want them to feel alone. He didn’t want them to feel afraid, so he gave them each other. God was busy working on the big plan, but He cared about the small stuff too.
Yes, it’s quite a story, a tale of two’s. Two women brought together by circumstances they couldn’t quite explain. Two women who trusted God to see them through whatever might come. Two women whose stories of faith still shine through the ages. Two women who bore two sons, each bearing a name given by an angel. Those two infant sons became two men, and like his mother before him, the older one, John, paved the way for the younger, and the younger one, Jesus, changed the world forever.
Friends, do not be afraid! You are not alone. God has a good plan for your life. God sees you where you are, and He is working out the details. Trust and believe just as Mary and Elizabeth did, for God is working on the big picture, and He cares about the small stuff too.
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Luke 1:30 – NIV
O Lord God Almighty, how gracious You are to us. Even as You work out the big plan for our lives, You pay attention to the details. You care about the small stuff. You put the right people in our path at the perfect time, just when we need them most. You protect us in the storms of life, and You provide a way even when there seems to be no way. thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son to save us.
In the Mighty Name of Jesus, we give thanks and praise,