Last night I started reading a book,borrowed from a friend,on Mary and Visions of saints.
When John the Baptist came he was considered to be the last Prophet.We Orthodox consider him to be the end of the Old Testament days and Jesus to be the start of our New Testament.
The Jewish people,on the other hand, believe that no more Prophets came once the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.
So basically we all agree that there are no more Prophets but even with that said we still believe in people who have visions and dreams.
We understand that God still speaks to each of us and maybe some people are just more in tuned with whats being said and can more clearly gain knowledge of what the rest of us have not fully learned to focus in on.
The first chapter in this book speaks of Joachim and Ana,Mary parents.
Seems Ana was a teenager and her new husband was a middle aged person when they met and married.
Many years passed and although they prayed,tithe and did good works,they just could not seem to have a child.
This was very important to them because according Jewish custom children were a blessing and the more you had the more blessed you were.
Being married for so many years with out a child told the community that they were spiritually wrong and God would not favor them with a blessing.
They began to pray more fervently then one day an angel appeared to Ana and told her she was to have a child.
Like most women in her situation she could not understand why God had chosen her,in such a late part of her life to finally have a child.
The angel explained to her that all things that would make up the completed picture were not yet in place.
Funny isn't it how we always want what we want when we want it but do not understand that what we do is not just about our actions but about a bigger picture.
If Ana had Mary 14 years earlier,Joseph,Mary's future husband,may not have been old enough or mature enough to accept Mary has an unwed pregnant person.
Also Jesus was meant to be born at a certain time in history and for his mother to be born to early would mean she would be the wrong age to have had Jesus.
This was not about random chance.
We are not privy to the full picture and we should try not to be to down on ourselves because things do not happen on our schedule.
The Jews have a saying that when you save one person you save an entire population of future people.
God does not work on any fixed time.He sees and understands the entire picture and how all people parts fit into each other.
To Him the picture is large scale and uniform,global planning,so to speak, and that you must admit,is pretty impressive.