One of my favorite things about Christmas are the gifts you didn’t see coming. One year my precious daughter-in-law Cecilia gave me a set of handmade coasters with pictures of our family on them. I was so over whelmed by the gift I cried- A LOT! Why? Because she knew exactly what I would adore: a handmade gift with pictures of my family that I can see day in and day out. She nailed it.
You know who is the master at giving the best gifts? God. You have to admit that if anyone knows exactly what gift you would adore, it’s God. So if God has a gift ready for you, you don’t want to miss it!
Mary, Mother of Jesus received a great gift from God. I know you are thinking about the gift of her child Jesus and that certainly is a whopper of a gift. But actually, I am talking about her mother’s cousin Elizabeth. Here’s how the story goes.
When the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her she was to become the Mother of God, he also mentioned Elizabeth: “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.” Luke 1:36 Not only was Elizabeth way past child birthing age, but until this time, she was barren and unable to have a child. Mary heard this and went to the hills of Judea to visit Elizabeth.
To you and I, Gabriel’s message sounds like enlightening information but to Mary it sounded like a gift from God. God had orchestrated for Mary that Elizabeth was not only pregnant at the same time as Mary but Elizabeth was MIRACULOUSLY pregnant. Elizabeth was the confident Mary needed. You and I may look at Mary and see the amazing, faith filled Mother of God but at that time, the world was looking at her as an unwed mother-to-be. God picked the perfect gift for Mary. Can you imagine the talks, the tears, the prayers and the joy these two ladies shared during Mary’s visit? God loves to give gifts through people.
Yet here’s the thing. God did not command Mary to go. When you look at the verse you can see that Gabriel does not even suggest that Mary should visit Elizabeth. Mary had to choose to reach out to Elizabeth in her time of need in order to receive this wonderful gift. Mary could have thought, “I don’t want to burden Elizabeth with what I’m going through.”
What keeps you from reaching out to people? Has God orchestrated gifts for you that you are missing? Is this one of those Christmas’ that is over shadowed by a financial struggle, a family problem, an illness or the loss of a loved one? Has God placed people around you that could give you comfort but you have chosen not to burden them? Is this you choosing to not receive a Christmas gift that God has orchestrated just for you?
I know it’s not easy but push back the temptation to face your struggles alone. Pray for God to show you the people and places He has orchestrated for you this Christmas season so you may taste the sweetness of His peace on earth.