“In those days, Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1: 39-45)

         Discernment does not occur in isolation, even in our personal discernment journeys.  Rather, as we seek to know God’s will, we often turn to the people around us for affirmation and support.  When we feel as though God is speaking to us, we look to family and friends for encouragement.

Soon after Mary’s encounter with Gabriel about God’s working in her life, Mary travels with “haste” to see her cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant even in her old age. Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, will eventually become the parents of John the Baptist, the forerunner to Jesus. 

Elizabeth offers to Mary just what she came looking for, affirmation and support. Upon seeing Mary, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy leading Elizabeth to confess, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Elizabeth recognizes that indeed God was doing something miraculous in Mary’s life.  

         When we are seeking discernment in our lives about God’s will, it is a good practice to talk to others about what we are considering.  God often uses individuals in our lives to help us out along the way.  We should seek out other people’s thoughts as we wrestle with our own.  Indeed, God has a way of putting certain people in our lives to do this very thing.  I’m sure this was not the only time Mary turned to Elizabeth.  Family and friends are always a part of the discernment journey.

Prayer:  Thank your Lord for the individuals in my life that offer me love, support, and encouragement.

Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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