Today's Devotional Thought
August 07, 2012 by Rachel Piferi
I have been spending some time in the Gospel of Luke lately and reading about Mary, the mother of Jesus. I am very captivated right now by Mary and how she must have experienced and coped with the path that she was given in life. As the mother of Jesus, she must have felt so many things. As a mother and as a woman, there must have been such great emotion that she could not even express. I can imagine her just gazing at Jesus and wondering how his life was going to be different from other boys' lives. And, how her life was going to be different with the enormous responsibility of mothering this gift.
One thing that sticks out to me in the first part of Luke is when the angel Gabriel is telling Mary what her path in life will be and right as he ends, he throws in, "Oh and by the way, your cousin Elizabeth is expecting too." I can almost hear the hinting in his voice: "Hey, if you want a friend right now who is going through an unexpected pregnancy too, go check out your cousin!"
It is so beautiful to me that God knows exactly what we need exactly when we need it. He gave both of these women a unique and tough assignment. He knew they were likely overwhelmed and emotional and felt alone. And he knew that they were both going to need a friend to help them adjust to this big life change.
I imagine Elizabeth and Mary were quite different. First, they were quite different in age. Second, they lived far apart, so they may not have known each other very well before this big event made them soul mates. We don't know a lot about what transpired in the months that they were together, but I tend to think that they spent these months bonding, sharing, and encouraging each other as only women can. And, despite any differences, I imagine it did not take long for them to connect, to feel safe with each other, and to know that God gifted them both with a precious friendship right when they needed it most.
I know this gifting well.
In fact, one of the most beautiful parts of my life story is my friendship with Wendy, someone who was divinely placed in my life and someone who is so very different from me. Aside from our love of Jesus, shoes, and Sweet Frog, I am afraid that we are as different as two women can be.
It makes me smile to think of how different we are. I like things busy and fast and always moving. She likes rest and downtime and stability. I am impulsive and risk taking. She is well planned out and safe. I can be hot headed and quick to say things. She is much wiser and careful in her speech.
We approach the world very differently. But, I have come to see that it is those differences that make our friendship so beautiful. It is those differences that allow us to stretch each other. It is those differences that allow us to understand another perspective in life. It is those differences that grow us, sharpen us, and allow God to reveal things to us that are outside of how we may normally look at things.
Those differences are beautiful. And it is those differences that make our friendship beautiful.
And those differences were, I believe, well planned by God to give us each what we needed on the paths that God has planned for each of us. Just like Mary and Elizabeth. A fairly unlikely friendship in a very unlikely situation planned by an ever-loving, almighty, and all knowing God.
Friends, the God who knew what Elizabeth and Mary needed knows what we need too. He knows what we need and who we need in different seasons of life. And he will provide.
It may look different than we expect, but it will be exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. Guaranteed.