An older woman whose heart had ached for a baby for years, decades even, but whose arms remained empty and now hope seemed gone. A teenager who had kept herself pure and hadn’t planned on a baby quite just yet.
Side by side. Two women in a drama they didn’t audition for, but two women who became part of a story that changed the course of history.
I’ve been reading the Christmas story in Luke, asking God to show me things I hadn’t really seen before. And this morning, I saw the contrast between Elisabeth and Mary. But I also saw in a new way how both of them trusted God with the unplanned circumstances of their lives.
In spite of the disappointment of not having a baby, Elizabeth “was righteous before God, walking in all of the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless.” (Luke 1:6) And Mary, after being told she was going to have a baby – God’s Son! – reacted by saying, “Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Elizabeth didn’t know that her circumstance was about to change. She had no idea that God was going to answer her prayers in a dramatic and unreal way. But she still walked with God. And Mary’s circumstance changed so quickly and so dramatically that she could have reacted with panic and despair. But she gave her heart with abandon to God.
Two women. Two different situations. One common response – trust.
I believe God gives us these kinds of details to get us to think about how we respond to unplanned circumstances. Whether we find ourselves still waiting for something we’ve been asking for – for years, or in the middle of something we didn’t ask for at all, our response needs to be the same.
Because God always has a plan. And His timing is always just right.
For with God, nothing is impossible. Luke 1:37
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45