Consider Mary for a moment. How much do we know about her? What made God choose HER to bear his son? Was she the most perfect woman on earth, walking around trailing glitter dust of holiness in her wake? She can’t have been that close to sainthood, otherwise fewer people would have doubted her word; Joseph certainly wouldn’t have. No, I think she was ordinary. An ordinary girl on the brink of womanhood, carrying out her normal duties. No doubt waiting in anticipation for her marriage to Joseph, dreaming of the family they would have together, dreaming of the wife that she would be to him.
But she was willing. Willing to give up her dreams, willing to risk certain scorn and punishment all on the word of an angel. And in the willingness the waiting began.
Waiting. How would she tell Joseph? Her parents? What would they say and do?
Waiting. Nine months of waiting. Nine months of watching her belly grow rounder. Nine months of feeling little kicks and hiccups, of having baby feet jammed up into her diaphragm. Did she have morning sickness? Did she wonder when it would end? And then, oh joy, she must go on a long journey. Did she ever question God? Did she say, “Look, I agreed to this whole Son of God thing, but honestly, couldn’t you have timed it better so that I wouldn’t be on this stinking donkey with your son playing punching bag with my bladder?” Did she start analyzing every little twinge thinking, “Is this it? Is it time? Am I ready? What happens now?” I am pretty sure pregnancy for her was no less an exercise in waiting than it is for the rest of us.
Waiting. Watching the sideways glances from the other women, knowing they were mentally measuring her belly and calculating in their minds. Knowing that when the baby came everyone would do the math and make assumptions. Waiting for scorn and contempt to show in their faces.
Waiting. Wondering what the baby would look like. What does the Son of God look like? How can he be dependant on me and still be my Messiah?
Waiting. Trusting. Sometimes in the waiting all we can do is trust in what we don’t yet see. All we can do is trust that God is true to what he promises.
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1: 39-45 (NIV)