TEXT: And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home. (Luke 1:56)
Three months of peace. God gave Mary a heavenly gift when He encouraged her to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was also with child. For three months she would not have to deal with the reactions of her family and Joseph. Instead, she would be with two people who believed her story absolutely-two people who rejoiced with her instead of doubting or fearing or even getting angry.
Those three months would allow Mary to get through the worst discomfort of early pregnancy-the morning sickness, the hormone shifts, and the sudden emotional storms. Elizabeth would be able to give her help and good advice. In turn, Mary could do the practical work of cooking, cleaning, and shopping that Elizabeth would be finding difficult as she reached the end of her own pregnancy. The two could help each other in love.
Best of all, those three months would allow Mary to come to terms with the amazing thing God was doing through her. She would have time to think over all the wonderful promises the angel made. She would think back over everything she had learned about God's promised Messiah, and how He would save His people. Mary would gather strength from all this so that when the time came, she could go back and face her parents and Joseph, trusting God to work everything out.
God offers us times of peace and comfort as well. Sometimes they may be short-no more than a few minutes here or there during a work break or a child's nap. But whenever they come, they are a gift from the God who loves us enough to come into the world through the body of a tired pregnant woman who needed peace.
As the Prince of Peace, Jesus knows our needs and provides for them, now and forever. He has earned true peace for us through His death and resurrection. When we are in need, we can ask Him for rest. He will help us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give us the peace and rest You see we need so much. Amen.
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