“How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
Read: Luke 1:6-25
It’s getting to that time of year again, when families get together to celebrate Christmas. These times, though special and joyful for many, are often dreaded by others. The “concerned” questions of certain relatives or old family friends can make those who are still single, childless, unemployed, still not promoted at work, or have still have not “achieved” anything of any great significance in the eyes of those asking the questions leaves many feeling that there’s something wrong with them.
I can imagine the plight of Elizabeth, who was childless after many years of marriage. While it’s hard for us to identify with her sense of shame in our day and age, in Elizabeth’s culture, to be childless was seen as a sign of God’s disfavor (see 1 Samuel 1:5–6) and could even be considered shameful. Elizabeth lived righteously, (Luke 1:6), but her neighbours and relatives may have suspected otherwise.
Nevertheless, Elizabeth and her husband continued to faithfully serve God. Then, when both were well advanced in age, a miracle happened. God demonstrated that He had heard Elizabeth’s prayer (verse 13).
Perfect in All His Ways
God loves to show us His favor (verse 25). It may seem, at times, that His answer is delayed, or that your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, but God hears every prayer. His timing is always right, and His wisdom is always perfect.
For Elizabeth and Zechariah, God had a very special gift: their child, John, would become the Messiah’s forerunner (Isaiah 40:3–5).
Wait Patiently for Him
Do you feel inadequate because you seem to lack something—a university degree, a spouse, a child, a job, a house? Keep living for God faithfully. Waiting patiently for Him and His plan, just as Elizabeth did. Whatever our circumstances, God is always working in and through us. He knows you. He hears your prayers, and is forever faithful to answer – in His timing, not yours. Keep trusting in Him.