“‘And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’…In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth…And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.” Luke 1:36-40, 56
As I read through the account of the angel’s visit to Mary, contemplating the impact of his words as she processed what he told her, it was impressed on my heart this beautiful provision of our God for her.
God could have chosen any woman to fill either of these roles—the mother of John, the man who would go before the Messiah, preaching of the coming Kingdom of God and preparing the way for the Lord’s ministry; and the mother of Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world. His choice was two women who were already related.
Isn’t this such a wonderful display of His grace? Mary had a very difficult road laid out directly in front of her. A young woman, betrothed but not yet married, suddenly pregnant. A virgin, walking in purity and in favor with God…but how many would believe her story?
In the midst of His calling her into this difficult but unspeakably blessed life, He speaks of Elizabeth. Our gracious God assures Mary that there is one person who will believe her. He gives her one person, at least, who will help her to not feel alone in this.
Is it any wonder that Mary hastens to Elizabeth’s home? She has been given a refuge within her family. A place to go where she can get away from the questions and comments and suspicious glances. Mary has somewhere to turn to receive encouragement and blessing, people who will rejoice with her unreservedly at the long-awaited coming of the promised Messiah.
Our caring, righteous King protected Mary. He provided shelter for her, not merely in a physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually as well. She undoubtedly came under many attacks. But she had the intentional care of God Most High, the assurance of His calling, and the presence of those whom He gave her to help her walk this path. Mary had Elizabeth. She had Joseph. She had the shepherds and wise men who came to worship her child, the Son of God.
Isn’t our God so good to us? To know the effects of this life to which He calls us, and to carefully provide every need. May we see in this beautiful provision for Mary, the promises of God’s faithful and abundant provisions for us, no matter what we face.