Cousin Elizabeth

December 9, 2016
by Iris Ford

Luke 1:35-37 – The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you. The power of the Most High will cover you. The holy Child you give birth to will be called the Son of God. See, your cousin Elizabeth, as old as she is, is going to give birth to a child. She was not able to have children before, but now she is in her sixth month. For God can do all things." (NLV)

Have you ever felt so confused, afraid, or alone that you desperately needed to talk to someone, but no one would understand? Then you can probably identify with Mary after this visit from the angel.

Women who have given birth could probably tell us about the feelings that they experienced when they first found out that they were pregnant. What changes will this bring to my life? How will I learn how to look after a baby?

I often wonder how Mary must have felt — probably completely unworthy to be entrusted with such a special baby as the Son of God. Mary must have really needed another woman to talk to about her pregnancy. She also needed to talk with someone who would understand this miraculous, rumour- and gossip-defying conception by the Holy Spirit. No one locally would have believed that she hadn't been sleeping around. The angel had told her that Elizabeth, her cousin, was also going to have a miraculous baby in her old age. Who would understand Mary's pregnancy better than Elizabeth? So she went to visit Elizabeth, even though it was a long way from Galilee to the hill country of Judea. I can hardly imagine their conversation in the privacy of Elizabeth's home. She could share with Mary the things that only another woman would feel under those amazing circumstances.

Their conversation must have been with some understanding of what God was doing through both of them. It took much faith and trust. It is wonderful that Mary had someone to support her as she struggled to understand: Why me, Lord? It would have made a big difference for Mary visiting Elizabeth, for we don't know who else she could have shared with. We are reminded that if we are given a heavy task to do by God, He will always give us support.

Who do you share with when under great confusion and pain? Yes, you can trust God to provide you, too, with a listening ear and an understanding heart. While in many difficult circumstances, we find ourselves feeling very confused and scared. We can talk to the Lord about it; He will hear us, and send someone into our life to share with love and understanding.

We don't know a lot about Elizabeth; all we know is that she was there just when she was needed. Have you ever shared a worrisome thought with a friend? God will guide you there and the sharing will be divine. Let's pray about those times when we feel bereft and all alone. Let's ask God to send us a friend to share with as we confess our shortcomings and need support. God will be there.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we all have relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, children, grandparents, and close friends. We just need to be open and honest about our inner pain and confusion as we face doing something that we have never done before. Thank You, Lord, for Your guidance given to us today as we share our need with a friend. We pray together in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Iris Ford
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Right on Iris.


    A very good insight Iris. Have a Merry Christmas.


    Thanks Iris for your encouraging devotional. Blessings.


    Beautiful thought. Insightful and real. Very supportive and encouraging.
    Thank you Iris. It’s as beautiful a ‘picture’ as the nativity scene itself, and I am comforted by what you have said.


    Dear friend, Iris,
    Once again you have written an encouraging devotional sharing your vibrant and faithful concern for our lives as servants of our Lord Jesus. Thank you so much.
    My prayers will be with you as you continue to share your faith-filled writing gifts with readers of these morning devotionals.
    Grace and peace in God’s love.


    Hi Iris,
    Thank you for your devotional today. When we visited Israel some years ago, we were in Nazareth (Of course) and we also visited Ein Karim where Elizabeth and Zacherias lived. Your devotional, apart from the Biblical truths, also brought back fond memories. What a wonderful book the Bible is with all those details.
    All the best, and a Blessed Christmas.


    Morning Iris,
    Thank you for your words of encouragement in your meditation, “Cousin Elizabeth”. Yes, we are fortunate to have our faith in our Lord God who is always there to listen and His Holy Spirit to guide us. He certainly does send special folk into our lives to help us on this early, aging journey. I returned this week from a break away south with my elderly & only sister. It was a special time for us – chatting, resting and sharing memories.
    I send to you wishes for a Blessed Christmas & Healthy New Year.
    (Ontario)


    May you too always find such a friend. Wishing you a Joy filled Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

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