Where Mary Found Her Strength

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It is during the Christmas season when I think most of Mary.  I remember her, not because she was divine or perfect, but because she was faithful.  I know that, had I walked in her shoes, I would have wanted to be faithful.

I also know that, during difficult days and sleepless nights, I would have needed reminders that helped me remember this call on my life.  I would have needed the assurance that God had indeed called me for this.

For Mary, there were times she could look back and see the hand of God, even when things were hard and when they didn’t make sense.  Surely remembering those incidents carried her and gave  her strength to do what God asked of her.

Mary experienced three separate visits from three different persons.  Certainly these visits were a catalyst in giving her the power and strength to be the woman God called her to be!

No matter what ridicule she faced or pain when people rejected her Son, she could look back and trace God’s hand in her life.  She could recall these monumental visits and know that God was indeed real.  He had visited her!

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Gabriel’s visit to Mary, when Mary learns she has been chosen by God to do the virgin birth.

On what was probably a normal day for Mary, she was visited by Gabriel. That visit changed her life – and our world.

Gabriel told Mary exactly what was going to happen.  Just as Gabriel  said it would be; it was.

Mary would have a son, even though she was a virgin.  Mary agreed to do a virgin birth.

Joseph was a man of integrity; he and Mary maintained purity during her entire pregnancy. Mary and Joseph named the child Jesus as God told them to do.

They were obedient.  They were faithful.

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Simeon’s visit in the temple, when Mary finds another confirmation and foreshadowing of future heartache.

Simeon’s visit gave Mary an insight into what would be happening in the future. In their first visit to the temple, Mary was holding her infant child when Simeon came into the temple.  He took the infant from Mary and thanked God for allowing him to see the Messiah.  It is Simeon who told Mary that one day, a sword would pierce through her own soul.

I am certain that, in the darkest day of Mary’s life as she stood at the cross, she remembered that conversation.  She had to know God’s hand was in this, for that sword was indeed piercing through her soul.

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Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, when Mary has a watershed moment that must have carried her through any doubt she might have faced.

Mary knew, before her baby’s birth, that He was indeed the Messiah. In her excitement after she learned that she would conceive of the Holy Ghost, she left her hometown of Nazareth and went to the hill country to visit Elizabeth.

For hadn’t Mary asked Gabriel how she, a virgin, could bear a child?  And had Gabriel not told Mary that nothing was impossible with God?!

Even now, the angel told her, her cousin Elizabeth (barren and beyond childbearing years) was in her sixth month of pregnancy.

Who else would better understand Mary than her own cousin who was also pregnant in a seemingly impossible happening?

When Mary walked into the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth,  it was Elizabeth who knew.  It was Elizabeth who confirmed to Mary that she was carrying the God-child.  Mary didn’t need to tell her, for Elizabeth knew!

“How can it be,” she said, “that the mother of my Lord would come to me?  For as soon as I heard your voice, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.”

If I had been Mary, I would have carried that treasure with me everywhere I went.  The baby leaped for joy because of the Messiah!

It wasn’t because of who Mary was; it was because of the Child in her womb.  That was confirmation enough that the Holy Ghost had come upon her, and that the power of the Highest had overshadowed her.

When neighbors or children ridiculed the Son born out of wedlock,  or when the crowds mocked her son, she still knew.  Mary did not question that her Son was the Messiah.  She knew in her heart.

Mary also knew because of the baby in Elizabeth’s womb.  That unborn child leaped for joy! Can you imagine the wonder Mary felt at the words of Elizabeth?!

I am certain that, if Mary ever doubted or wondered about this call, all she had to do was remember how that baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy.

That was all the confirmation she needed.

What confirmations do you have of the work that God is doing in your life?!

It is Christmas.  What a wonderful time to celebrate your past experiences and the evidence of His work in you!  What better way to find renewed strength to continue your journey into the New Year!

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Read these lyrics of a song telling about Mary’s experience.

Mary, a pretty young maiden
Is soon to be blessed with a Son
In the sight of the Lord she found favor
To be given the Promised One
Mary has now come to see me
For I’m also expecting a boy
And just as I hear Mary’s greeting
The child in my womb leaps for joy!

And he leaped for joy
From Jacob will come a scepter
A Son, to arise out of Israel
And he leaped for joy
Conceived from above by the Spirit of Love
The kingdom will rest on Him
The Shepherd of man is come as the Lamb
Who takes away all of our sins

And he leaped for joy
Mary, you’re blessed among women
And blessed is the child you bear
But why have I been so favored
That you should visit me here?
And blessed are you for believing
The Lord would give you His boy
At the pleasing sound of your greeting
The child in my womb leaped for joy!

And he leaped for joy
Arising from Judah an infinite ruler
Born in Bethlehem
And he leaped for joy
In strength He will stand
With love for all lands
And peace for the hearts of all men
Oh, he leaped for joy
The Father He’ll trust, the Serpent He’ll crush,
And He’ll reign as the Servant Son
Eternal I am, in meekness of man,
The promised Messiah is come

And he leaped for joy

To listen to the song Elizabeth’s Song,  go to this link.

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