“How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” Luke 1:25
Also see: Luke 1:6-25
Elizabeth was childless after many years of marriage. While it could be easy enough for us to empathise with her plight, it’s perhaps a little harder in Western culture to identify with her sense of shame.
In Elizabeth’s culture, to be childless was often seen as a sign of God’s disfavor (see 1 Samuel 1:5–6) and therefore considered shameful. Elizabeth lived righteously, (Luke 1:6), but her neighbours and relatives may have suspected otherwise, wondering what she could have done to bring such disfavour upon herself.
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 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, forgotten about or overlooked by God because you seem to lack something—a university degree perhaps, or a spouse, a child, a job, a house? Be encouraged today to keep living faithfully for God. Wait patiently for him and his perfect plan, in his perfect time, just as Elizabeth did.
Whatever our circumstances, God never ceases to work 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.