The angel Gabriel had just visited Mary and told her she would carry the Messiah. He even testified about her cousin Elizabeth who, despite being past child-bearing years, was pregnant. After this short conversation, the Bible tells us that Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant … May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38, NIV).
Can you even imagine what she might have been thinking after such an encounter? Her response, to the most important call on any human’s life, was full of faith.
The Bible continues to say that Mary hurried to the hill country to see Elizabeth. Did Mary’s faith remain strong after the angel left and she was alone? Or, did she begin to wonder if her imagination created the whole experience? Did a part of her have to go and see Elizabeth to confirm what she had just experienced? I wonder if she thought, If Elizabeth isn’t pregnant then I go about my normal life, if she is, well, everything changes.
Before Mary can say a word upon entering the home, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and affirms Mary’s calling as the mother of the Messiah. Even if Mary’s faith had waned, Elizabeth was there to build her up and encourage her. Verse 45 quotes Elizabeth saying, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her” (NIV)! We can’t know for sure what Mary’s faith was like the moment she entered Elizabeth’s house. But we can be sure that if it was at all wavering or unsure, Elizabeth was there to encourage Mary and call out the faith that surely did reside within her.
Don’t we all need that sometimes?
Don’t we all need someone to speak life over us—to aid in affirming the call God has placed on our lives?
Don’t we need to hear we are doing a good job as a mom?
Don’t we need to hear that our efforts on the job, even if unnoticed by the boss, are noticed by those close to us?
Don’t we sometimes need to hear, “hang in there girl, you got this. You are capable, you are able, you are equipped, God’s got your back and I do too!”
Sisters, let us be women who encourage and build one another up like Elizabeth and Mary. This world will throw enough challenges our way, and God is going to ask us to follow Him into difficult things. Let us be the ones who speak life and point to the One who will overcome all that we face.