Have you ever awakened from a dream and wondered to yourself, "What in the world was that all about?"
Sometimes the content of a dream can be starting and unsettling. Dreams and discovering their meaning can produce a combination of wonder and fear. Super smart people spend a lot of time interpreting dreams. They believe dreams are a way we sort out complex information. We may process our emotions, fears or experiences in symbolic ways. Traumatic events or complicated feelings can be hidden or compartmentalized deep within the labyrinth of our mind. A dream can be a less threatening way to symbolically deal with a terrifying situation. We need to go to someone we can trust who can help us discern the meaning of our dream. With the help of a trusted friend or professional, we can discover new ways to express ideas, solve relationship issues, even overcome our fears.
I think this may be what Mary experienced as the angel Gabriel stopped by for a visit. If we can be disturbed by a dream, imagine what Mary felt as she tried to comprehend what happened to her. Gabriel's visit was not a dream. Scripture described Mary's disposition as 'greatly troubled' and she wondered what Gabriel meant by saying, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." I think she may have even felt a combination of wonder and fear. Imagine if something as wonderful and fearful like this happened to you.
Who would you tell first?
Mary didn't go to her husband to be. She didn't go to a religious professional. She didn't even go to her mom and dad. Mary went to Elizabeth and in a hurry. She went to someone she trusted. Zechariah and Elizabeth could relate to her experience. Mary was full of questions and belief.
Why did she go there?
I wonder if Mary needed to confirm Gabriel's visit wasn't just a dream. She may have needed to verify that an angel visit was at least possible. Maybe Mary was wondering if what Gabriel said could really be true. She hurried to the one person who was most aware of the miraculous work of God. If what Gabriel said was true, then her acceptance meant her world would utterly change. Mary rushed to Elizabeth and was not disappointed.
2,000 years ago a teen-aged girl somehow believed God in the midst of her questions. There may have been no room for the baby if had Mary been full of speculation, reason or doubt. Elizabeth and Mary's experience may not have made much rational sense. But, sometimes our interpretation of complex events requires a little faith and uncommon sense. Deep transformation is possible if we surrender and believe. What we may end with is a song that goes something like this: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name." Luke 1:46b-49 NIV