by Erica Wiggenhorn @EricaWiggenhorn
And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God. Luke 1:36-37 ESV
When our daughter’s birth mother tenderly placed Eliana in my arms and said, “I want to be the first one to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day,” I sobbed with joy. After ten years of waiting to be called “Mama,” I was completely undone. As I carried our beautiful gift out of that hospital room, suddenly fear swept over me. Would I be a good enough mother? Who was I to deserve such a gift? This precious baby girl entrusted to me?
While I had no doubt the gift of motherhood had been given to me by God Himself, I also knew I was going to need help and support to fulfill this incredible call of motherhood upon my life. I couldn’t do this alone.
Can you imagine how Mary felt with the mighty archangel Gabriel standing before her delivering strange and miraculous news? Mary, you will give birth to the Son of God! As quickly as the joy of such an incredible announcement swept over her, fear certainly followed with equal force. Mary, a young teen from a tiny village in Galilee, somehow had found favor with God to raise the most important child in human history.
Who could she talk to about this? God knew Mary needed help and support to fulfill the call He had upon her life, so He made certain Gabriel informed her about her cousin Elizabeth’s own miraculous pregnancy.
As she traveled down from Galilee to Elizabeth’s home, the reality of her situation surely began to sink in. What would Joseph say? Would he divorce her? Would her parents believe her? Pregnant, by God? Who on earth would believe such a tale? Nazareth was a small village, estimated to be anywhere from 500 to 1500 people- her story would be the talk of the town. Her family would be shamed.
Mary desperately needed affirmation and encouragement from the older, wiser Elizabeth. Suffering through years of barrenness, a condition in those days thought to be a punishment from God, Elizabeth also knew full well what it meant to live in shame and reproach among the women in her village. She understood first-hand the judgment and rejection Mary would face.
Mary needed to know she wasn’t alone in this, humanly speaking. She had Elizabeth, who believed in her, accepted her and rejoiced with her at the work of God in her life. Oh, how greatly we all need an Elizabeth, don’t we?
A co-laborer in ministry: whether it is in our home or elsewhere.
Someone who believes in us when we stop believing in ourselves.
Someone who can remind us what God promised in our darkest hours.
What is a circumstance in your life in which you feel alone or afraid? Who do you know who is going through a difficult circumstance who could use some encouragement? It takes courage to ask for help as well as offer it to others. In God’s beautiful design, He sends others into our lives to come alongside of us to help navigate whatever situation, season or circumstance we are facing.
He also calls us to come alongside of others. Ask God to open your eyes to those around you with whom He is encouraging you to connect. When you feel alone and afraid, ask God to send you an Elizabeth and while on your way, look for a Mary. We are all in this together, and God is for us.
About the author: Erica Wiggenhorn is the founder of Every Life Ministries, bringing you the truth of Scripture to transform your life. She is the author of the Unexplainable Bible Study series from Moody Publishers, including live teaching sessions available via DVD sets or digital downloads. Erica regularly speaks on a variety of biblically based topics and hosts a YouTube series entitled Unexplainable Stories of Hope and Healing. You can connect with Erica and learn more about her studies and ministry at www.EricaWiggenhorn.com.
Erica’s Bible study, The Unexplainable Church, explores the explosive beginnings of God’s Church. The early church didn’t grow because Peter and Paul were so amazing, but because average people were transformed by God and brought together in His work. This 10-week inductive study of Acts 13–28 will sweep readers into the great drama of the Kingdom, inspiring them to live together in the power of the Spirit and accomplish what could never be done alone.
Join the conversation: Are you in a mentoring relationship? What benefits have you experienced as a result?