by Morgan Ramsey
Have you ever read a verse or passage in the Bible and you’ve stopped and said out loud, “I’ve read this passage 843 million times and just NOW I feel like I’m reading it for the first time?!??!?” Just me? Okay. Well let me share with you what happened a couple of weeks ago.
I was reading through Luke 1. I’ve read this passage maybe at least a dozen times, if not more. But something hit me this time that had never hit me before. And the cool thing was it was not just one new thing. It was several. So the angel Gabriel appeared to the priest Zechariah and told him God’s glorious plan for his life. But his flesh got in the way, and instead of being obedient and accepting the Lord’s plan for his life, he doubted and asked questions. “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is along in years.” And since he didn’t believe in the Lord’s plan, he became mute until his son, John the Baptist, made his big appearance.
Ouch. Just because he wanted a sign or reassurance, the Lord silenced his mouth. It seems like the Lord wanted to get his attention in a pretty big area… obedience.
Six months later down the road, we have another divine encounter. This time with a fourteen-year-old girl, with some pretty important news if you ask me. The same angel Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth, her cousin, was also pregnant and, oh yeah, she (Mary) was going to have a son that would be the Savior of the world. And I thought my mom’s news of us having ribs for dinner was big news. But she responds a little differently than Zechariah. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” And at that moment she left to be with her cousin Elizabeth.
So let’s pause.
A couple of months ago, I was convicted that I didn’t have someone actively pouring into my life. Besides my mom, of course. And as a recent college graduate I decided that it was time for someone to speak life into me. So I talked to my college pastor’s wife, and we decided to meet every once in awhile to chat. Well we decided on our first visit that we should go through a book of some sort, because I absolutely love to read. So she chose the book Giddy Up Eunice, by Sophie Hudson. She told me a general summary of what the book is like, but I never expected to be this floored by a book until I read the first paragraph. And you’re never going to believe this, but the author was just as floored as I was over Elizabeth and Mary! I hadn’t been able to shake Mary and Elizabeth out of my head since I read Luke 1 for my quiet time, so when I started reading the first paragraph I threw down the book and chuckled. “Okay God. I see what you’re doing here.”
And as it turns out, Sophie Hudson was just as amazed as I was by Mary’s simple obedience. She admitted that she was a servant and then left immediately to be with her cousin, Elizabeth. Pretty incredible, if you ask me. But Sophie took the passage from a different angle that intersected with my amazement of simple obedience. She said that it’s pretty awesome that Mary just got up and left, and as a woman she completely understood why. Mary needed a woman. She needed community. Even though Elizabeth was considerably older than her, she needed someone that would understand and walk with her along this journey of faith that the Lord had laid out for her.
It’s simple: women need women, even when there’s an age gap.
I serve at my church’s student ministry and my favorite thing in the whole wide world is to pour into these girls’ lives. They are so hungry and so desperate to hear from the Lord, and they remind me so much of Mary. And as much as I love following Jesus together with these girls, I’ve realized that these girls need more than a crazy 22 year old that laughs more than she talks and can quote way too many movies. These girls need college students, single women, mommas, and grandmommas to speak into their lives. They need godly examples to look up to now and every day of their lives.
And I think that’s why Mary went immediately to Elizabeth. She needed someone that was walking where she was. Even though Elizabeth was older, Mary needed Elizabeth to encourage her in her obedience to the Lord. And that got me thinking. Maybe obedience doesn’t always look like how we want it to look like. Maybe obedience looks like inviting that young college student out to lunch once a week. Maybe it looks like inviting a few high school students out to coffee once a month to invest in their lives. God has a unique plan for each of our lives, and I believe that plan often includes walking through life with ladies that sometimes are not always our same age, like our same music styles, or laugh at the same things we do. But that’s the beauty of the Lord. He knits our hearts together for His glory and His renown.
And that’s why I love this blog. It invites all ladies, however young or grey they are to find His truth in a thousand words or less. So here’s my challenge: Who can you invest in? How will you obey the Lord and His call to make disciples?
Who is your Mary? Who is your Elizabeth? It’s not easy finding either, but it sure is rewarding. And you’ll laugh plenty along the way.