It is often said that God works in most unusual ways. His program has nothing to do with political power or military might. It doesn’t wave banners or shout slogans or do any of the things calculated to grab headlines.
Take for example the gospel account of the meeting of the Blessed Mother with her cousin, Elizabeth. They were both pregnant at the time. That beautiful story is indicative of the mysterious ways of God. God’s purpose was to redeem the world. So where does He start? Not with a summit conference in Jerusalem or Geneva, nor with the organizing of a giant corporation. He convened a meeting between two pregnant women in some nameless Judean village. And that meeting reminds us of some things we need to know about the mysterious ways of God.
There was nothing noisy or ostentatious about the meeting and visit between Mary and Elizabeth. They were so quiet and inconspicuous that the world did not know or care about what was taking place. And yet the world is still feeling the impact of what God initiated through those two women. It seems that God almost always works that way.
That may not seem strange to us; we’re so conditioned to noise. But how like God that is. There is a quietness to His ways. Have you ever stood in a country place and witnessed the awesome silence of the dawn? There is no blaring of trumpets or roaring generators, just an irrepressible light that starts on the eastern horizon, drives back the darkness, and ultimately envelops the world. So, if you are waiting for God to shout at you, you are probably wasting your time, because He almost always works quietly. You should start to listen in the still of the night, in the hush of a Church, or in the silent recesses of your own soul. God moves in mysterious ways, quietly.
I am sure that almost everyone in that first century world thought the important things were happening in Rome and Jerusalem and Athens. But everyone who thought that was wrong. The important thing was not happening in some center of commerce or political power. It was happening in Mary’s womb, for the baby that was being formed there was destined to change the world.
Think of it – the determining factor of history was not to be Caesar’s army but Mary’s baby. The Roman Empire is an almost forgotten relic of days gone by, but the world is still reeling under the impact of Mary’s child. How beautiful are the ways of God, and He has continued to work that same way across the centuries.
What does all of this say to you and me? Namely this – don’t ever despair of the cause of Christ in this world. It may be a dark day, but so it was when Mary and Elizabeth met in the hill country of Judea. Make no mistake – God is quietly at work with small things and forgotten people.
It is not the conventional way, but be patient. We serve a God who moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.