Mary and her six-month pregnant relative Elizabeth were both beside themselves with joy as they greeted each other. I cannot imagine how Mary must have felt when Elizabeth immediately recognized the divine source of Mary’s pregnancy.
Elisabeth also understood the precariousness of Mary’s situation. Fact Check: Pregnancy can kill a mother; and Mary’s pregnancy in particular could have killed her at a time when being with child out of wedlock was a valid reason to be judged and charged with the death penalty. Elizabeth and Zachariah offered Mary a sanctuary allowing her some time to reflect and prepare for the enormous changes ahead while shielding her from the outside world.
What a relief it must have been for Mary to have friends who were willing to shelter her in a time of great need! This made room for heart-to-heart talks as they reflected together on the amazing events leading up to their respective pregnancies, though Elizabeth’s husband Zachariah unfortunately could not be part of these conversations.
Previously, God had temporarily silenced him after his debacle with angel Gabriel. When Gabriel announced that his wife Elizabeth was going to give birth to a son, Zachariah doubted the messenger. If he had trouble believing his aging wife could get pregnant, God knows what went through his mind when faced with Mary’s miracle pregnancy. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that God allowed him to be silent for a while, so he could stand back and watch incredible things unfold before his very eyes. The famous words of Psalm 46:10 may have gone through his mind:
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I am wondering, in all our business, are we able to sit down, be still, and notice when a miracle happens? When are we ready to focus and receive what God has to say? Do we need to be silenced just as Zachariah was? And what about heart-to-heart talks, conversations that break the mere surface level? Have we cultivated friendships where such conversations can happen? How would our soul break out in praise if we made some quality time today, lifting our hearts in praise and singing with Mary:
“Oh how my soul praises the Lord!”