In a society where pregnancy out of wedlock prompted the death penalty, a pregnant, unwed teenager was bad news. Raising the Son of God – what a great honor, and yet – what a daunting task! When Mary heard that her aunt Elizabeth was also expecting a child, she set off to visit her. The trip was approximately a 100-mile walk, which must have kept her on the road for about a week. The reception was warm and heartfelt. Here they were – two expectant mothers standing in the doorway weeping with joy as they embraced each other. Her aunt’s instant awareness of her condition had to be inspired [Luke 1:42]:
“In a loud voice she [Elizabeth] exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!’”
Elizabeth was no stranger to a miracle pregnancy herself. She had been past her childbearing years when angel Gabriel announced that she would have a son; unfortunately her husband Zachariah doubted the messenger; as a result he was temporarily muted by the angel. His ability to speak was taken away from him for an undisclosed time period.
Actually, Zachariah’s forced silence may have been a blessing for Mary. If he had trouble believing Angel Gabriel, he could have raised some serious doubts about her mysterious pregnancy. Had he been able to talk, I imagine Mary’s visit could have turned out differently. Instead, Zachariah had to take the back seat in the family for a while. A silent witness of incredible things happening before his eyes, the words of Psalm 46 may have gone through his head [Psalm 46:10]:
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Reportedly, it was Mary’s habit to listen with her heart. Pondering the things she observed along the way gave her remarkable insight and wisdom. We gain nothing worth mentioning rushing through life; even miracles could potentially go unnoticed.
In order to listen we need to be still. Lifting up the Lord, we will be uplifted.