For some reason this story recently spoke to me. I've heard it many times before but this time it was different.
Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"--
Mark 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Two pregnancies. Two difficult situations. One was too old and had never conceived. The other, young, unwed, and most importantly a virgin.
Mary and Elizabeth, her relative, became pregnant around the same time. It was hard to believe that Elizabeth could be pregnant because she and her husband Zechariah were very old. And when the Angel Gabriel told him that his prayers had been answered he did not believe. So Zechariah was not able to speak until the birth of their son or even tell what his name would be.
And of course the other pregnancy had to be difficult to understand. Mary was pregnant with God's child as a virgin. All a little overwhelming to take in.
Soon Mary visits Elizabeth and as she greets her, the baby jumps in her womb and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit.
And more amazing than that, we find out once the baby is circumcised Zechariah can finally speak & the name of the baby, both he and Elizabeth share, is John.
Here's where it gets even better...
Years go by. John lives in the wilderness but miraculously reenters the scene when it is time to baptize Jesus. They find each other after all of those years. How on earth does God make this happen?
God orchestrates both of them to be born around the same time In truly miraculous circumstances. Years go by, they find each other again and the Holy Spirit then descends on Jesus after John baptizes him.
The God who not only brings His son into this world, brings in his "cousin" to lead the way. Interestingly enough, Luke is the only one of the gospels to record this story.
God makes amazing things happen, years in advance. He is remarkable in His timing. I love both of the stories of these two women, which must have been extremely difficult to deal with at the time, both quite scandalous.
Yet even through seemingly hopeless situations, God brings hope again and again. A baby born to baptize and another baby born to save the world at the same time.
Reading this story makes me realize that even in my difficult situations, God is working for the good and He has the power to make anything happen. So there is hope. And only if I look around and notice, He is there, working...
Daily there are challenges but if I look for God in the details He shows up in amazing & remarkable ways.
Even when things don't seem to make any sense or feel impossible, this story helps me remember I serve a mighty God.
May you find hope in the difficult situations you face. And may the story of these 2 unlikely ladies give you strength to know that anything is possible with God's love and power.