Sunday 31 January, 2016
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in Judea’s hill country. 40 There she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby inside her jumped. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she called out, “God has blessed you more than other women. And blessed is the child you will have! 43 But why is God so kind to me? Why has the mother of my Lord come to me? 44 As soon as I heard the sound of your voice, the baby inside me jumped for joy. 45 You are a woman God has blessed. You have believed that the Lord would keep his promises to you!”
Mary has just been told she will become pregnant with the messiah. The Holy Spirit told her a whole lot of things but one thing was that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant. It would have been a very strange situation that Mary found herself in, so as soon as she could she went to see Elizabeth. I imagine it was in part to check the one thing that she could confirm. She had to go and visit to find out, there were no phones or any other easy way to check. She committed to a journey and an extended visit. She may have also gone to hide away from those who knew her while the pregnancy started to show. Either way Elizabeth’s reaction must have helped her get comfortable with what she was told and what was going to happen to her.
It’s something we can learn from. Mary believed the Holy Spirit but she also built on her faith by confirming something she could check. We can find it difficult to believe what God says in the Word or in our prayers especially if it doesn’t match the way we feel or the circumstances we find ourselves in. Mary demonstrated that instead of walking away, we should walk into the situation. We should focus on the things we know to be true and things we can confirm to be true from what God tells us. To focus on what we can believe and see what might follow rather than worrying about the things as yet unseen. The more we build up our ability to believe God by practising and confirming, the more we can have faith for things that are hard to believe in.
Lord help us to focus on what we can see to be true. There are so many things You say and You promise in the Bible that we can find hard to believe, especially things about ourselves. Help us to exercise our faith with things we can confirm and see where they lead us so that we can get better at believing things we cannot see. Yet. Thank You.
Written by Therese Manning
I’ve never thought about this before Richard, thanks for the challenge.