When Deep Leaps
When Deep Leaps By Sharon Hardy Knotts
It happens around the fourth month — that little flutter in her belly — almost like gas, that confirms that she is pregnant, and the baby is alive and kicking. Just a gentle nudge, but unmistakable. Is it her imagination? No! There it goes again! That bubble of movement that lightly presses up against her stomach. As the days and weeks go by, it becomes stronger and regular. It is life!
It is the reassuring sign of physical activity that connotes life, but it is not communication; although it is easy for the mother-to-be to think so or want to believe. The unborn child has not yet acquired the capability to respond, or to communicate human language on an intellectual level, but he can respond on the spiritual plain should there be a “divine transmission.”
Mary of Nazareth was still a teenager when she was visited by the Angel Gabriel and given the astonishing news that she was to become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit, and bare a son who would be the Son of God, the long-awaited Son of David – Messiah and King of Israel.
“And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31-35).
There is nothing in the Holy Scriptures to equal this. No doubt, Mary was a pious girl who knew the Scriptures well. She would have known of Abraham’s wife Sarah’s twenty-five year wait for her son, Isaac, born when she was 90. She knew that her daughter-in-law Rebecca was married over 20 years before she got pregnant with twins. She also knew of her daughter-in-law, Rachel's infertility for many years. Then there was Samson's mother and Samuel’s mother Hannah – All of these women had been barren, and God opened their wombs and gave them sons – mighty sons who grew to be powerful, strategic men of God in Israel's history. But at least all of these women had husbands!
But she was not married and was still a virgin engaged to be married, and she was not about to betray her beloved espoused, Joseph. When the angel told her it would be a supernatural conception, she did not stagger in unbelief, but with truly remarkable faith accepted: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). What she said is: “I accept. Now let it come to pass you just as you have said.”
If you are like me, you are amazed by her faith. But I guess that's why God chose her. He knew she would not stagger in unbelief at the seemingly preposterous impossibility of such a word. Even Zacharias, the husband of her cousin Elizabeth, and a priest, had faltered at the idea of his wife having a son when they were both aged. He had been visited by the same Gabriel six months earlier and was given the good news, but he had cynically replied: “How do I know this is true? I am old, and my wife is well stricken in years” — really old!
Gabriel did the Zacharias a big favor — He zipped his lips so he could not speak anymore unbelief. For the next nine months he had to write down his words or use hand gestures, and that was a good deterrent against negative speaking. Gabriel had also shared the wonderful news of Elizabeth's pregnancy with Mary: “And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:36-37).
The Leap of Joy!
No doubt, bursting at the seams with wonder and joy, Mary made the trip to her house to congratulate Elizabeth and to share her own glorious visitation from the Holy Spirit. As she entered their home and greeted them, a divine communiqué took place: “And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she spake out with a loud voice and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (vv. 41-45).
As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary's voice, her baby, who was to be the “greatest prophet born amongst women”, leaped in her womb for joy! Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost and began to prophesy with a loud voice. I love the versatility of the Holy Spirit — He can be a still, small voice in your ear and in your spirit, or a loud voice like a trumpet, bold, and joyful. Elizabeth’s spirit was infused by the Holy Spirit, but the spark began when the baby in her belly heard the voice of Mary and reacted.
This was not a baby-to-baby communication! It was as David described in Psalm 42:7: “Deep calls unto deep…” It was a divine communiqué: Spirit to spirit. This is how the Holy Spirit communicates with the human spirit, and when He speaks, our inner man leaps with joy! It is the unmistakable witness of life — spiritual life, and the confirmation of eternal life to come.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
May “your deep” leap with joy!