And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’
When Mary became pregnant with Jesus (by virgin conception) she felt the desire to travel 80 miles to be with her older cousin, Elizabeth, whose pregnancy was also wildly unusual (post menopausal conception). It's not the sort of thing you can discuss with just anyone.
And just as Mary walked through the door and said "Hello," Elizabeth's child leapt in her womb. Wrap your mind around this. The unborn fetus of John the Baptist in Elizabeth's womb somehow recognized the unborn fetus of Jesus in Mary's womb and spontaneously reacted with such a dramatic movement that it felt to Elizabeth that her child had jumped straight up in the air. It was so emphatic and extraordinary that it left Elizabeth wondering,
Why has this happened to me?
Life is full of why-has-this-happened-to-me moments. When things go bad and sting, or stink or both, we cry, “Why has this happened to me?”
So too when good things happen and the overflow of blessings exceed all explanations.
Elizabeth determined it had something to do with faith. Mary’s extraordinary faith allowed Jesus to grow in her life—literally.
Why do things both good and bad happen? Simply stated, to increase our faith and to allow Jesus’ influence to grow.
Our daughter, Anji was diagnoses with cancer a month after she was married at age 32. She couldn't help but cry, "Why has this happened to me?"
In a blur of pain and fear she stumbled into the church’s prayer chapel and noticed on the registration pad that I had been there just before her and had written John 11:4:
This sickness does not lead to death but to God's glory in order that the Son of God might be glorified.
Why had it happened? Not to kill her, but to expand the territory for Jesus to grow in her life. And so he has, beautifully and dramatically.
By faith the birth of Jesus answers every “why” we will ever ask.
Gracious God, as my life unfolds please expand your influence in every for-better-or-for-worse moment. Deliver me from all forms of despair and pride. Let my highest joy be your growth in me each day. Amen.
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’
There are times when we want something, and as much as we hope, and pray, and long for it, when it finally comes true, we just can’t believe it is real. The people of God longed for the Messiah—and when Jesus came, he was all that had been promised—even to us: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.