Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.
These are some of Elizabeth’s words to her cousin Mary. Elizabeth, even as she draws closer to her due date is still amazed that God has shown her favor (Luke 1:25,43). I think that’s why I like Elizabeth. She has suffered much as a childless woman in that culture yet her faith and submission to God is inspiring as you watch it unfold in the Christmas story. She was clearly meant to be a role model and mentor for Mary during a scary and uncertain time and she steps up to the plate with quiet dignity and grace. Mary shows the same qualities when Gabriel visits her. She accepts, she adapts, she believes and then acts on what she has been told. These women still serve as role models today. They were women whose gentle strength is played out in the backdrop of the Judean countryside in a time when doubt was easy and faith was very hard. We need such role models today and I have been blessed to have met some in very illogical places in rather scary times. They have shown me that while doubt may be easy and faith is always hard, those doubts can serve a purpose. Elizabeth and Mary may have had their dark moments but those thoughts have not been recorded for us. Not in this story. But the Bible does tell the story of many others whose doubts were a part of their faith. Doubts help us to sort out questions and fears. This questioning process can lead to a stronger faith which will become the start of a new life. At least, that’s the way it works for me.
So at this Christmas time I find myself thinking of the all the Elizabeth’s and Mary’s who have wandered through my life. I thank God for bringing them to me and for their faithfulness. I hope that I have done the same for others.