When I graduated from college, I moved to the Chicago area to begin my grown-up life. Alone in a new city, I looked for a church community that I could call “home.” I craved the guidance of older women and eventually connected with a few who nurtured my faith with their presence and prayers. I was welcomed into their homes, attended Bible studies they taught, and served in ministries which they led. They listened to my dreams and fears. They encouraged my gifts and persistently pointed me to God’s truth.
We see a similar longing in Mary, who—on the angel’s direction— made the arduous trip to see her older relative, Elizabeth. We see that Elizabeth was sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance. Immediately sensing Mary’s condition, she stepped willingly into the role of mentor. She affirmed Mary’s faith and confirmed her calling, so much so that Mary was able to articulate her own song of praise.
In the beautiful prayer or song, titled the Magnificat, we see the depth of Mary’s understanding of who God is and what He had already done. She gave Him glory for His holiness and His might. She acknowledged His mercy, sovereignty, and provision “to Abraham and his descendants forever” (v. 55).
Elizabeth provided a safe place for her to continue to process her next steps, built on this firm foundation. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three more months, until the time of John’s birth. Can you imagine the conversations they must have had? Their heads bowed together in times of prayer, they exchanged words of encouragement and proclamations of praise.
>> Have you experienced the faith- building care of a mentor? Do you long for that right now? If you are a young believer, consider making this request of a mature believer in your church. If you have followed Jesus for many years, ask Him if you might take on this role with a younger believer. Can you offer encouragement and wisdom to someone who needs support?
Father, thank You for those You put in our lives who have consistently prayed for us, asked us tough questions, and supported our walk of faith. Give us opportunities to play the same role in others’ lives.