Thoughts about Waiting. Advent Week 3.
Have you ever waited in a hospital waiting room? … for a response to an application? Waiting alone gnaws at the soul. Waiting in the company of friends lessens the load.
The angel told Mary her relative, Elizabeth, was also miraculously pregnant. Mary needed support in these amazing developments. She “got ready and hurried to the hill country of Judea, where she entered the Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.” How thrilling it must have been to hear Elizabeth’s loud, Holy Spirit inspired welcome,
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear. But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her. (Luke 1:42 – 45)
Mary responded with her own prophetic word,
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. … (Luke 1:46 – 55)
The three months Mary stayed with Elizabeth, must have been filled with inhibited girl talk and feminine pursuit—Zechariah could not speak. I can imagine the tiny garments and the whispered giggles they shared. Mary, no doubt, returned home to Nazareth with joyful expectancy. Yes, she felt blessed. She could face this challenge with confidence.
Then the happy circumstances disintegrated. Caesar Augustus decreed a census. Go to Bethlehem? No, not now. The baby’s birth is too soon. Travel by donkey? Impossible. A woman, great with child, should not be traversing the Galilean wilderness on a donkey. Mary’s altered wait became one of anxious, pain-ridden days and fearful, cold nights away from the familiar and comfortable. Yet, she must wait.
Do you wait in anxiety and fear? Just as the Holy Spirit carefully watched over Mary’s babe, he watches over you.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7)