When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! Luke 1:41-42
No man can truly understand the complexity and mystery of pregnancy. Notwithstanding a man’s willingness to support his wife during her pregnancy, he will never understand the joy of that experience, the pain of going through hours of labor, the frustration of struggling with nausea, back pain, and every other uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy. In some parts of the world, a pregnancy can be deadly. Even in the U.S., nearly 700 women die during childbirth every year. Approximately 300,000 women die during childbirth every year throughout the world. Yet the experience of pregnancy remains one of the most celebrated attributes and abilities of womanhood.
In today’s text, we read about the pregnancy of Elizabeth and her cousin Marie. Both pregnancies were mysterious and extraordinary. Elizabeth waited for a very long time to get pregnant. The baby in her womb was John the Baptist whom the Bible describes as the one who was to pave the way for Jesus. Though her pregnancy was not as controversial as Mary’s pregnancy, it had its share of drama as her husband was made to be silent and not able to speak until the day of her child’s birth, because he did not believe the angel who told him that his wife was about to get pregnant.
Marie was a teenage girl who was already engaged. She is carrying a child that did not come from her fiancé. The stigma of carrying a child out of wedlock was palpable. Yet she found the courage to rejoice in her predicament because she knew the child in her belly was special. I’m sure Marie heard many snide remarks about her pregnancy from the people in her hometown. Nevertheless, she praised God for the privilege to carry that burden.
The Holy Spirit has placed something special in the belly of every believer. Some believers are pregnant with a desire for social justice. Others have a passion in their belly to minister to the unsaved. Many brothers and sisters are waiting to birth new ministries that will help the oppressed, the poor, and the downtrodden.
Elizabeth was pregnant with the one who was destined to cry out in the wilderness ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” In Mary’s belly was the Savior of the world. Perhaps you have the cure for cancer in your belly. Someone else may have the solution for childhood hunger in their belly. I know many brothers and sisters with a passion in their belly to end homelessness.
The pain and discomfort of carrying a call or passion in our belly pale in comparison to the joy of doing our kingdom assignment. Like Mary, many of us will be reviled for the greatness in our belly. But for as long as we are led by the Holy Spirit to do our God-given assignment, we can rejoice in our hardships.
The baby Jesus was worth every bit of adversity Mary endured. Whatever God has put in your belly is noteworthy. The fact that you are going through adversity to birth your God-given purpose speaks to its greatness. Therefore, despite what people may say or do, remain faithful and encouraged. Keep trusting God as you look for opportunities to birth that vision that will transform the world into the kingdom of God.
Question for Personal Reflection
What has the Lord placed in your belly He wants you to birth in this season?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I think you for placing a passion for prayer and for making disciples in my belly. Please help me to remain faithful to my God-given purpose no matter how difficult my spiritual pregnancy may become.