2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” NLT
Beth uses the above scripture reference and I like it in the New Living Translation, but the word “troubles” in the KJV is “tribulation” and in several other translations it is “afflictions”. If I were to put that same verse in “Angie” vernacular it might read something like this (pardon the paraphrase please): He comforts us in all our stuff, the issues that we can’t seem to overcome, but by His miraculous grace in our lives, we do—we “get” it. So by His example of comforting us —He wants us to give that same comfort and love to another when we see them dealing with the same stuff. The same problems. Don’t judge, just help.
I love the picture that Beth paints for us with her words describing Mary, her possible age, her characteristics, etc. In verse 35 of Luke 1 the angels words bear a surprising jolt to Mary’s senses, and then verse 36 offers Mary the solution to any (and you know there were some) possible questions she might have.
I have typed what seems like a kazillion letters at the law office where I work. Almost always after giving the description of the “enclosed” documents, we end it with a sentence, much like Gabriels “hint” to Mary was in his statement regarding Elizabeth. Our sentence reads: “Please call us should you have any questions or concerns.” I just know little Mary had some questions. And without a doubt—some big time concerns!
I love the quote from Beth’s book that she used on page 16. Re-read it now if you have your book handy. I especially love the last sentence, “Women are like that, aren’t they? We long to find someone who has been where we’ve been, who shares our fragile places, who sees our sunsets with the same shades of blue.” I can tell you from my experience, I wanted to KNOW what it was like, what I could expect and just exactly how long will this last? This would encompass not only birthing babies, but in every aspect of child rearing and life events…I wanted to KNOW!
I am glad that although the answer to those questions may not be exactly spelled out in the Word, there are those that have blazed the trail of faith before us written therein of which we can read, learn and be encouraged that by the faith they had—their complete trust in the LORD, they made it…showing me that I can and will too!
Before we leave Mary today, I want to point out something that I have missed in my reading before. Probably because it’s not spelled out. It is in the unwritten of the story of Mary. Her bravery. Can you imagine (I will continue to say that a lot), leaving your mother (the one who you have learned EVERYTHING from) and traveling a distance on foot, in a completely unexpected pregnancy, to a village or town where, most likely, she had never gone to alone before. They probably always traveled as a family. But for this journey, Mary is alone.
I imagine she looked to the heavens for comfort at night, sought solitude, perhaps even hoped that by some chance the angel Gabriel might appear again to give further instructions. I liked what Bernadine and Aimee said about Mary being alone. In our solitude, where we seek God in our complete honesty and wide open heart—He can best meet our needs and minister to the brokeness and the questions that maybe we have in our own lives.
When the greeting between Mary and Elizabeth had passed, and warmth and family was felt, I am like Beth. I believe that they shared tender conversations. I love what she pointed out that while Elizabeth was expecting her son, Mary was expecting her LORD. This completely blows me away. Totally. That takes me back to the Christmas song by Mark Lowry, “Mary Did You Know?”
In all the excitement of the visit between the two, I know they must have conversed in hushed tones. The secret of Mary’s pregnancy was not out for public knowledge yet. But for Elizabeth to be able to keep that—oh, it must have been hard! Surely her face gave her away when she looked at Mary? Do you think?
I remember when I found out that Wanda and Mark were to adopt a newborn. They wanted to surprise everyone. (I sort of found out before hand.) But I was sternly instructed, “you cannot let them know that you know!” Know what? Right. I was good. But when the day came for the unveiling, or in this case, the unwrapping of the little pink blankets, my heart nearly burst and my eyes flooded. As did everyone else in the house that day. What an incredible joyous time! That was better than standing outside the delivery room and hearing a new cry for all of us. For this infant miracle came to a couple that could not have children. This miracle of life came to a young woman who prayed daily to have the blessing of motherhood. And like Elizabeth, her prayer was answered. Wanda wasn’t as old as Elizabeth when Victoria was born, but it was miraculous, nonetheless.
The love between Mary and Elizabeth is more than likely greater than many Aunts and Nieces. For good reason. I am glad that this story was not overlooked. I am thankful that we have it to read and learn from. When the Lord lays a job at your feet, or places a passion in your heart, He will also put someone in your path or life, who at sometime has felt or gone on the same journey.
Father God, Your unlimited love and mercy amazes me daily. As You pour blessings into our lives, help us to pour them right back out on others! Oveflow our hearts and lives with the Holy Spirit as never before. Give us wisdom and knowledge as we continue in Your Word. In the holy name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, I pray~Amen.
I am loving this study! See ya’ll soon!
Keeping the Faith,