I know the fall season has just begun this week (Hallelujah) but this week I am studying Mary, the mother of , as part of Ten Women of the Bible by Max Lucado. This morning I noticed something I had never noticed before. (I love how the Bible is unsearchable and new every time.)
The angel Gabriel had just told this teenage virgin that the Holy Spirit was going to come upon her and she was going to conceive a child who would be holy — the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
Look at what comes next, the part never read in Christmas pageants.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.“ (Luke 1:35-37)
Right there. See it? God gave Mary a friend.
While Mary found herself miraculously pregnant at a young age – a virgin age, Elizabeth found herself miraculously pregnant at an old age – a barren age.
- Both women living miracles
- Both carrying miracles
- Both misunderstood, subjects of gossip and targets of judgment from others
And God made sure, the moment he told Mary what was going to happen to her, that Mary had a friend.
- A friend who would understand.
- The only friend in the world who would understand.
After the angel departed from Mary in verse 38, verse 39 reports that “Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.”
I’ll bet she made haste — to the only other person on the globe that would understand!
Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist, probably Christ’s cousin and a forerunner who prepared the way for Jesus. Elizabeth was more than the mother of John the Baptist, however.
She was Mary’s friend.
The only friend who would understand Mary. She was so critical, her name was part of the message from God to Mary through the angel Gabriel.
Who are your customized friends?
When something happens from my college days, I call a friend who knew me then. When something happens from my Cru days, I call another friend who knew my life then. When I have a theological question, a struggle as a wife, counsel about spiritual battle, a confidante for my most personal things, intense prayer, someone to with whom to share my funny stories, answers to my medical questions, wisdom about how to pull off an event on a shoestring budget…each category has a customized friend that most understands that area.
Today I see my friends in an even grander way than I have seen them before.
I see them customized just for me to survive what God has asked me to face.
To my friends. I literally could not have made it without you. Like Mary, I contact you with haste when you are the only person in the world that would understand. And I thank God for each time you picked up the phone, visited me, invited me to visit you, helped me and prayed for me.
God gave you to me. I love you.
Today, I am filled with gratitude and thank God today for friends.
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