What Were Those Six Months Like?
In Luke 1:56 we read the following verse: “And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house”. After Mary visited with Elizabeth for three months, she returned to Nazareth and we know very little about her life until she makes her way to Bethlehem with Joseph. But what must those months have been like? We don’t know. I suppose God didn’t think we needed to know. We can “fill in the blanks” with thoughts that her parents might have disowned her or kicked her out of the house. Perhaps they were compassionate; though it seems unlikely that they ever truly believed her story. But maybe they did. Maybe God sent them an angel also but just didn’t record that for us?
I guess what happened during those six months is not very important…mostly because of what Mary said in verses 46-55 of Luke 2. Here is a link to those verses if you’d like to read them: Luke 2:46-55 In those verses we read Mary giving praise to God. We read about Mary exalting the name, person and activity of God beyond what she could have known on her own. We read in summation: “My soul magnifies the Lord”. That is the phrase I’d like to focus on.
When our soul “magnifies the Lord”, we are able to minimize the circumstances surrounding our lives. We are able to see the circumstances, good or bad, as secondary to the primary purpose of magnifying the Lord. Because of what Mary thought about God, she wasn’t worried about what the next six months were going to bring to her life. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t confused…it doesn’t mean she wasn’t hurt by the reactions of others. It doesn’t mean she did not go through difficult times….It just means that because of her understanding of who God is and what He had done for her, she was ready for whatever those six months brought to her life.
I confess this is difficult for me. Theologically I understand who God is and how big He is. I get that. But when things get difficult, I find it easy to temporarily slip into a pity party for myself. I find it easy to think about how difficult I have it. Ever been there? Yet everything that God did for Mary, He has done for me…except of course the details of the pregnancy thing. The words that Mary uses to describe God are words that I have used or can use. I’m glad that God is so incredibly great that He can help me get through those “six months” or even those “six hours” of uncertainty and pain. Praise be to God and I’m thankful that Mary got it right!