I’ve been listening to “Mary, did you know?” on the radio for weeks. I love being reminded of all that Jesus would do and become to the world, and imagining how much of that Mary didn’t know when she conceived.
This morning, I listened to Luke’s version of Jesus’ birth at church, and it struck me anew: Mary didn’t know, but she still believed. She trusted God enough to live into what seemed impossible.
I believe there’s a message in that for you.
First, Mary’s very old, infertile cousin, Elizabeth, conceived. She and her husband were well beyond the point of TTC, but her husband would not give up hope. His prayer was answered, his wife conceived, and they went into silence and seclusion.
Mary didn’t know, but then an angel told her the news (Luke 1:7, 36). She believed.
That same angel told Mary she would also conceive — by the power of the Holy Spirit, and without help from her soon-to-be-husband, Joseph. It was an unprecedented means of conception, but the angel promised that, as with Elizabeth’s late-in-life pregnancy, it would happen, “For no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37).
Mary didn’t know when it would happen — or exactly how. She didn’t know how she would explain it — or who would believe her if she tried. She didn’t know exactly why she’d been chosen — or what the implications might be for the rest of her life. There was so much she didn’t know!
But, she still believed.
Then, she conceived. And Caeser Augustus announced a census, which sent a very pregnant Mary, accompanied by Joseph, 75-100 miles away from family and friends. She didn’t know when she’d go into labor. She didn’t know where they’d stay. She didn’t know if or when they’d come home again.
Still, she trusted that God was faithful.
Then Jesus was born, and shepherds arrived. They saw the baby the angels had told them about, and then, “they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed….” (Luke 2:17-18).
Scripture says nothing about any conversation between the shepherds and Mary. Most likely, she didn’t know where they went or whom they told. She didn’t know how people responded, or whether anyone believed that “a Saviour… the Messiah… the Lord” had been born. She didn’t know who else might visit Jesus, when another angel might appear, or what would happen next.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Before she saw it all come to pass — while she still didn’t know what might or might not happen in the life of her miracle child — Mary believed.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” – Luke 1:45
These words, which Elizabeth spoke to Mary, are for you, too.
Because Elizabeth conceived when everyone knew she was too old. And Mary conceived despite the fact that everyone knew she was a virgin. God made the impossible possible — as He promised He would — and blessed were the women who believed that it could be so, even though it conflicted with what other people knew.
If you long to be blessed by the One who fulfills His promises, the One who can do the impossible, you must be prepared to believe it is possible even though you don’t know how, or when.
That can only happen if you choose to trust God, which can only happen by faith.
In this season of hope, as you are longing for joy, well before you know how your infertility journey will end…. I encourage you to accept by faith that the One who made the impossible possible for Mary and Elizabeth is still at work in the lives of those who trust Him.
May it be so for you.
And to God be the glory.
Need more cause for hope this Christmas? Read Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.