After becoming pregnant, Mary, Jesus’ mother, had a challenging few months. First came Joseph’s divorce scare, then Mary hurried off to stay with her relative, Elizabeth - the expectant mother of John the Baptist. We don’t know what prompted this hasty visit to Judea (about four day’s walk from Nazareth). Perhaps Mary was being packed off by her family to avoid embarrassing gossip in Nazareth. Perhaps she ran away to the one person who might believe and understand her story. Possibly both. Whatever the cause, it was a fairly major undertaking for a young woman in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Mary was wonderfully welcomed. Elizabeth did indeed believe and understand Mary’s situation. Such a greeting must have been a great reassurance for the girl. (Luke 1:39-45)
There are two things to pick up from Mary’s experience. Firstly, that being caught up into God’s plans does not promise an easy life. Far from it! Being caught up in God’s plans can make our lives a whole lot more complicated. On the other hand, God does give us moments of encouragement - and these are important. When we put ourselves out to do what is right under God, he will give us reassurance when we most need it, just like he did to Mary.