Read: Luke 1:5-7, 24-37
Impossible Longing, Hidden Hope
Looking at the lives of both Elizabeth and Mary reveals a God who works in mysterious ways. On one hand, there’s Elizabeth. She’s married but she’s old and barren. On the other hand, there’s Mary. She’s young, unmarried and a virgin. Yet both Elizabeth and Mary are pregnant! Here are two women on opposite ends of impossibility.
Luke tells us Elizabeth was “upright in the sight of God observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly,” yet she feels disgraced among her people because of her childlessness (vs. 25). Imagine Elizabeth, after decades of desire, after decades of disgrace. Did she ever give up hope for a child of her own? Could she fathom the fulfillment of her impossible longing?
And what of Mary? The angel tells us Mary is highly favoured by God, but to be given a child out of wedlock? I’m sure this would not have been even last on her list of hopes. Especially since, in her day and age, pregnancy outside of marriage could lead to public trial and humiliation. Imagine Mary, and all those around her, struggling as their ideas and expectations are uprooted. Would any of them have asked for this experience? Not likely. Yet this child, Jesus, would bring to light unacknowledged longings and satisfy their hidden hopes.
We may never understand or solve the mysteries of God and His ways, but through the lives of Elizabeth and Mary, God demonstrates His ability to fulfill our impossible longings and to satisfy our hidden hopes.
by Kelly Dycavinu
Question: Can you think of other Bible stories where God does something no one expected?
Together: Share stories of God’s mysterious ways. (hint: Exodus 14:19-21; Numbers 22:21-34; 1 Samuel 16:7-12)
Prayer: God, help us to trust You when You don’t do things the way we want or expect. Amen
© Kelly Dycavinu, Popcorn with a Spoon 2013. Excerpts and links may be used, provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Kelly Dycavinu, Popcorn with a Spoon 2013 https://kellydycavinu.wordpress.com/