An Unlikely Pair

God supplies our every need, and the Christmas story gifts us with many such examples. I love how He pairs Mary and Elizabeth. A young teen and an aged lady of great faith.

Both fulfilling prophecy. Both experiencing pregnancy for the first time. One whose shame of barrenness had haunted her for a lifetime. One whose shame of an “illegitimate child” would overshadow the rest of her life.

Elizabeth would not see the fruition of the two boys’ lives—yet had the maturity to help prepare Mary to watch every heartbreaking step of the journey. Mary, even at a tender age, had the wisdom to receive godly advice from her elder.

Both women learned not to judge others by appearances and not to second-guess God. Both learned to trust and obey with humility and grace.

Mary and Elizabeth.

Separated by decades. United by pregnancy and promise.

Can you picture these two? Mary’s first trimester overlapped Elizabeth’s last one—Mary’s sign of confirmation from Gabriel was an aging Elizabeth in her sixth month of pregnancy.

I can see Elizabeth talking Mary through morning sickness, while Mary ran errands as the final three months weighed Elizabeth down. Mary provided conversation and companionship while a silent Zechariah hovered.

Mary confirmed Gabriel’s message to Zechariah. Did he begin outlining plans for John’s religious training even then? Zechariah modeled a husband’s tender concern and commitment. Did he pray for a presently clueless Joseph?

Did Zechariah write a letter to Mary’s parents or accompany her on the trip home? Did Mom and Dad believe her story? Did they believe Zechariah and Elizabeth?

Later, I picture the two women with their growing toddlers, both heads turning to the call of “Mother.”

Did these two have any inkling of the paths their boys would take? Did the Holy Spirit reveal the coming suffering and rejection? Either way, God provided a precious pairing that impacted both women well beyond the three short months they spent together.

With whom has He paired you? Look to your precious pairs for encouragement. Seek out your “Mary,” thank your “Elizabeth,” and keep the holidays in perspective.


Has an older mentor spoken into your life at key times?

Have you been that person for someone younger?

What needs do you see in the younger generation?

What lessons have you gained from the older generation?

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