One was old.
One was young.
Both were faithful.
One waited so long she felt sure her moment had passed.
One was met with a surprising turn of events and didn’t feel ready.
Both were called to birth the miraculous.
And both fulfilled their call.
Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.
Mary, the mother of Jesus.
I’m captivated by their stories. The contrast. The similarities. Two women. Two very different paths …
One faithful God.
Elizabeth, blameless and righteous before God, yet barren. She endured not just years, but decades in the wilderness of waiting. Misunderstood. Ostracized by society. But set apart and chosen by God for a unique and special purpose.
Mary, blessed and highly favored, yet young and inexperienced. Suddenly thrust into circumstances far beyond her comprehension. Also misunderstood. Also ostracized by society. Also set apart and chosen by God for a unique and special purpose.
Their lives collided on the path of destiny …
In His timing.
I’m sure Elizabeth thought the wait was too long. Maybe she even gave up hoping at times. But it didn’t alter God’s plan.
I’m sure Mary was afraid and unsure. She pondered much in her heart because, after all, who would understand? But it didn’t alter God’s plan.
His plans prevailed …
In His timing.
The most important thing these women shared was their faithful trust in the Lord. Elizabeth didn’t wait because she did something wrong, she waited because she had been set apart for a specific and special assignment. Mary didn’t get thrown into the fire because God was testing her, she responded to His invitation to enter the awe-inspiring purpose He had created her to fulfill. The faithful hearts of both women were immediately exposed in their responses …
“The Lord has done this for me!” she (Elizabeth) said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people” (Luke 1:25 NIV).
“I am the Lord’s servant!” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38 NIV).
What about you?
Are you Elizabeth? Have you been wandering in a wilderness of waiting where the months have turned into years, and the years into decades, without any sign of His promises being fulfilled?
Are you Mary? Have you suddenly been thrust into circumstances you never could have imagined, with open doors of opportunity you feel completely unprepared to navigate?
Maybe you find yourself in a little bit of both these stories?
Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, don’t lose heart. The God who was faithful to Elizabeth and Mary will also be faithful to you. Some things come quickly–sometimes too quickly–but the challenge can propel you into a place of dependence that requires a whole new level of faith. Some things seem to take forever–even when you wait faithfully and well–but waiting is the perfect opportunity to develop enduring faith and trust. However your story unfolds, God’s timing is always His own …
But His timing is perfect.
Just ask Elizabeth.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45).
And He will …
In His timing.