Have you ever needed to do something you had no idea how to do, like install a new garbage disposal, drive to a place you’ve never been to or maybe work with your child on a new skill that you had never mastered? Then a friend comes along who has done it before and offers you help in a way that only someone with the experience could do. Maybe they walk you through a few pitfalls and show you an easier method of installing the garbage disposal, give you a short cut to the new place and warn you about a potential area of traffic or provide you a technique to help your child acquire the skill. There are probably times when you have been the one offering guidance and help. Sometimes God may not be preparing us just for our own sake, but for the sake of other people.
Mary experiences a miracle when the angel appears to her, and her life changes instantaneously. While pregnancy is normal, there is nothing ordinary about her pregnancy. Who can Mary go to who would have any understanding of what she is going through? Who can help her adapt to this sudden change in her life? She goes to see her relative Elizabeth.
Elizabeth had experienced her own miraculous pregnancy. She then kept herself “hidden” for 5 months so she could reflect on what God had done for her in her own the miraculous conception. Her experience makes her uniquely prepared to support Mary. Elizabeth can rejoice with Mary, encourage Mary and even offer a blessing over Mary. Elizabeth uses her experience to be a source of comfort and encouragement for Mary.
Being spiritual prepared means being more aware of those around us and the ways that our experiences can help support them. God can use our joys, our trials, our skills and even our backgrounds to prepare us to minister to other people. Instead of just random events and occurrences, we have the opportunity to view the everyday aspects of our lives as possible preparation by the Lord to support others.
Each of us have had experiences that prepare us to help others. This might simply be empathizing with someone because of a shared experience, offering wisdom because we have already been through something they are in the midst of or using a skill we have developed to teach or provide for someone else. Reflect on your experience. How do you use this for other people? What might keep you from using your experience for others? What are some ways you can intentionally be open to the Lord working through your experience for the sake of other people?