In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judea, and she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.
… And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home. Luke 1: 39-40, 56. (ESV)
You probably remember them well: Mary, a 13-14 year old peasant girl, suddenly pregnant with the Messiah, Savior of the World, the Lord, Most High and Elizabeth, an old, barren woman, now 6 months pregnant. Cousins. Strong women of faith, yet needy. Can you imagine the faith it took for each of them to receive the miracle that God had given them? In the uncertainty and all the unknowns of these miracles they were experiencing, God gave them the gift of time with one another; Blessed Companionship.
I have a sense the time together strengthened, encouraged, empowered, and even changed these women. Throughout their lives, when encountering hardships, they would remember the conversations, the camaraderie, the sharing of chores and simply “doing life together.” I truly believe that they were uniquely changed forever by their interactions. What do you think?
Let me remind you that God is a loving, personal God. God is so relatable! God knows us, our human longings, and the deepest desires of our hearts. God knows what we need and what we long for.
You and I may never experience a miracle like that of Mary or Elizabeth but think for a moment about a time when you were blessed by the Holy Spirit putting someone in your path- just at the right time, just when you needed a reminder that you were not alone. Or, in this season, give yourself permission to honestly acknowledge that you are longing for that person to come along.
In her book, Showing Mary, Renita J. Weems says, “People come in and out of our lives all the time, for sure. But there’s something about having the right person step into your path at the right time, bringing with them the exact prayer, insight, wisdom, and words of encouragement you needed, just when you were about to throw up your hands and demand that God give you your old unhappy life back. It’s all in the timing.” (p. 80)
Shortly before His journey to the cross, Jesus told His disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate) to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees or knows him. You know him for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17
My Friends, the Holy Spirit within us wants to connect us more deeply to God, as Jesus our Savior is revealed to us again and again and again. And, the Holy Spirit wants to connect us to others. This is the good news of God’s timing in this Advent season.
How is God asking you to open up to the Holy Spirit’s connection? Are you trying to fill the void with other things? Sit with God for a while and receive God’s love.
Who could you be honest with right now and say, “You know, I’m not feeling very merry? I just need you to sit with me.” Who could you hurry to see?
Who is God showing you needs encouragement? Who could you journey alongside? Who is God revealing needs a blessed companion?
Mary and Elizabeth were strong women of faith, yet they needed the blessed companionship that God provided. Don’t miss an opportunity- for such a time as this! Receive God’s love and then share God’s love with others.
One last thing: I’d be glad to connect you with a Pastor, Spiritual Director or Counselor. I know some good ones!