Luke 1:56 - And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
I've always been curious about Mary's homecoming. That's probably the point where she had to talk with her parents, and with Joseph, about her pregnancy. Would they believe her? What if they didn't? At only three months along, Mary probably had a few more weeks before she began "showing," but she didn't have the luxury of putting off these conversations. Decisions needed to be made; plans had to be worked out. I'm sure she approached these conversations with a lot of prayer!
We have these kinds of moments too, don't we? Times when something scary's coming up, and we've got no real choice but to go through with it. Childbirth; a cancer diagnosis; a relationship ending; the death of someone we love. Whatever it is, we can't avoid it, or not for long. We can only go through it.
And of course there's no guarantee that things will turn out the way we want them to. The Bible doesn't tell us what Mary's parents said; we know that Joseph assumed the worst, at least until the angel spoke to him later in a dream. How painful that conversation must have been for everybody involved!
Sometimes I think that God could have spared her the pain. But then, this is the same God who didn't spare His own Son pain and humiliation—the humiliation of infancy, the pain of the cross. There is an old proverb about beginning as you mean to go on; God is at least consistent.
But He's consistent in another way, too. Mary calls Him "He who is mighty" who "has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation" (Luke 1:49-50). We may go through hard, painful times, but we never do it without God right there with us, holding us, having mercy on us. The One who was born into poverty, who suffered rejection and humiliation and pain, the One who hung on the cross—He is with us as we suffer, and He holds us in His own nail-marked hands. He will not let us go.
THE PRAYER:Lord, thank You that You are with me, even during my hardest times. Amen.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
When were you in a bad situation where there was nothing you could do but go through it?
What is your attitude toward God like during those times?
Whom do you know who is going through a similar time right now? How can you care for that person?
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