It was not long after I found out my due date that I actually began to think of Mary and how she must have felt. I did this quite often throughout my pregnancy and more as the time of my delivery came. She was younger than I was (21) and let's not even talk about her relationship with Joseph! That had to have been scary! Her encounters with the angels telling her of what were coming were phenomenal. To think that God Almighty had chosen her to carry and give birth to His Son must have been incomprehensible. Have you ever put yourself in Mary's shoes?
Let's put it in today's times to make it a bit more real. Mary is possibly caring for some younger siblings, doing homework, or chores when all of a sudden, Gabriel, an angel of the Lord walks up and says, "Mary, God is with you and He favors you above all other girls. You are blessed!"
Mary is in total shock and disbelief. She doesn't doubt that this is an angel of God, but why was she greeted in this manner! Looking around to make sure He is talking to her, she begins to furrow her brow.
The angel rests his hand on her shoulder to quieten the fear that begins to stir in her heart. "It's ok. You don't have to be afraid", he reassuringly says. "You are going to become pregnant with a boy and you are to name Him Jesus. He's gonna be great, no I mean, really great, as in the Highest! There will be no end to His reign."
Mary has to interject. It's all been a little too much for her to process. She is back at the part where he told her she was going to have a baby. This is impossible. She nervously begins to twist her hair. "How in the world could I have a baby since I have not had sex with a man?" she asks innocently. (Not trying to be disrespectful, just keeping with the times. I hope you understand my intent.)
Once again the angel tries to reassure Mary. "Don't worry. The Holy Spirit will come upon you."
"What?! I wont know a man, but the Holy Spirit is going to cause me to become pregnant?!" Mary thinks to herself. "This is getting weirder by the minute."
Gabriel continues, "The power of the Most High will be like a shining cloud over you and so the holy Baby which will be born of you will be called the Son of God. And if you don't believe me, your cousin Elizabeth is really old and God caused her to conceive a son. She is six months pregnant even though she had been barren! I'm telling you, nothing is impossible with God!"
Mary is still quite unsure of things, but has been taught to trust the Lord in everything. "Well, since you put it like that, I cannot argue. I am the Lord's servant. Whatever you say goes!" Then Gabriel leaves.
Can you imagine the next few minutes for Mary? It is all so much to ponder. I'm sure the questions filled her mind. Without hesitation she planned to go to Judah and see her cousin Elizabeth. She had to see if it were true. Was Elizabeth really pregnant in her old age?
Mary packed her bags quickly and took the next flight out to Judah. As soon as Mary walked through the door and Elizabeth heard her say, "Hello!" her baby kicked hard enough to take her breath. She paused to lean against the wall then was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit and almost yelled at Mary, "You are blessed above all other women and so is the Baby you are carrying. To what do I owe this great pleasure? The mother of my Lord coming to visit me? As soon as I heard you say, "Hello" my baby kicked because he was happy! You are blessed because you believed that God would do as He said He would. It's really gonna happen, Girl!" Then Elizabeth quickly sits on the couch to catch her breath.
Mary smiled and said, "I honor the Lord and rejoice that He is my God and Savior. He noticed how poor I was, but now generations to come will envy me and call me blessed." They share a cup of tea as Mary goes on to tell of the wonderfulness of her Lord.
Mary stays with Elizabeth for about three more months and leaves just before Elizabeth gives birth to her son. If it would have been me, I would have wanted to stay. But for whatever reason Mary doesn't wait and goes back home. Maybe the morning sickness had gotten the best of her and she just couldn't wait to get in her own bed sleeping in her own home.
A lot has happened in three months. I'm sure Mary is wondering when people will start talking; when they will notice the baby bump she tries desperately to hide. This is a whole new twist in the story so I will pick up here in another post. For now, I remember how it felt to be carrying my first baby. I was young, scared and happy beyond all reason just as Mary must have been, too. Though I wasn't carrying the Son of God, I couldn't wait to give my baby all the things a young mother wants to give just as she did. I loved this baby growing inside of me with all my heart and couldn't wait to hold it in my arms.
I hope you will join me in this series of posts as we explore how Mary gave her heart and how she must have felt each time she was asked to give a little more. I will post part two next Tuesday with part three on the Tuesday before Christmas. I hope you come back for more!