This morning I read about Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1, about how they went through a near lifetime of disappointed hopes. Even though they remained faithful, thirty or forty years of barrenness could not have been a light burden and it made me think of my own periods of hardship. It was difficult during our internship in St. Louis. It was difficult in Iowa, when we didn’t know what to do with our lives. It was difficult when I wanted to have a baby, but it wasn’t the right time. In the middle of a hardship it always feels so scary and like God is ignoring me.
But then He moves…
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
I wonder if God chose Zechariah and Elizabeth as John’s parents so that He could give them the desires of their heart while also accomplishing His own purpose of preparing the way for Jesus or if He chose for them to be barren so that when John was born more glory would be given Him. Either way, Zechariah and Elizabeth were filled with delight and joy, God was glorified and God’s purposes were accomplished.
My friend Kristi said that once you’re looking back on hard times, they just appear like a blip on the radar. At this point in my life, we have a house in Lewisville that needs to be sold. It feels scary and out of our control, but I want to remember that God has good things in store and that one day I will look back on this time as a blip of hardship, nothing worth mentioning, especially in light of the wonderful ways that God showed Himself to be good and full of provision. I know that even this will result in my delight, God’s glory, and the accomplishment of His purposes.
No wonder Luke records so much praise in the first chapter of his book. When he was interviewing Zechariah and Elizabeth and Mary, I’m sure they could not say enough about the goodness of God, and this morning I feel the same way.
…for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.