Three observations from the lives of Mary and Elisabeth in Luke chapter 1, an angel appears to Zacharias, the priest. The angel says to him that his wife Elisabeth would have a child. Zacharias found this hard to believe being that Elisabeth was unable to have children and that she was older in age. Zacharias asked the angel, “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” Luke 1:18. The angel makes him speechless until the birth of the baby because of his unbelief. In contrast, Elisabeth, Zacharias’ wife, became pregnant and said, “Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.” Luke 1:25. Elisabeth knew that God had worked a miracle within her. Also, an angel appeared to Mary and said that she would have a baby. This was not just any baby, but our Savior and our King, who would take our sins away and redeem us. Mary believes the angel and says, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Luke 1:38. A few practical thoughts the Lord gave me from this lesson:
1.) How Mary responded to the angel is how I need to respond to the Lord and His will for my life. Scary and uncertain times may come my way. I’m sure that Mary was fearful of how her fiancé or her family and friends and peers would react to this news of her having a baby. When dark times come my way, and I want to react selfishly and take troubles into my own hands, I need to surrender my will to God and say as Mary said, “Lord, I’m your servant, whatever your will is for my life I trust you.” I know making this kind of statement is hard, but the Lord loves us and wants to use us if we are willing to trust Him.
I love the words to this song, “Sometimes God will take us to unexpected places, but in every situation we will find. God will provide beyond what we imagine, so much more than we can fathom, He will supply.”
2.) We need to take our responsibility of service to God as seriously as Mary and Elisabeth did. My husband made this statement, “Was Mary and Elisabeth’s job of training Jesus and John the Baptist more important than my job of training my children?” I thought this statement was interesting. God has entrusted me and chosen me with the responsibility of training my four children, and loving and serving my husband. How lightly do I take my job? Do I realize that God has chosen me to do His work just as He chose Mary and Elisabeth? In Luke 1:41, Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. If I’m going to take my job seriously and put my will on the back burner, it will only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit.
3.) Mary believes God. Elisabeth says to Mary in Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she that believed: for there will be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” When things in my life don’t seem to go as planned, I need to remember to believe God. When I believe God and His plan for my life, it’s only then that I can have true joy. Luke 1:46-47, “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” We may not see the big picture of God’s plan for our lives, but we need to trust Him even in the uncertain times. Mary had the responsibility of carrying, birthing, caring for, and training our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a great responsibility! Elisabeth had the opportunity to encourage the mother of Jesus. What a great opportunity! I want to learn from these two great women in the Bible. "Thank you, Lord, for teaching us from your Word how to become better Christian ladies."
Used with permission by Jackie Carr