At one time or another we, like Elizabeth, can feel barren and unproductive … empty … lacking … bereft. Sometimes, God has reasons for not answering our prayers—or not answering them when or how we want them to be answered. Being human, it’s hard to wait … and wait … and wait … for our prayers to be answered. So, I could tell you to do like Elizabeth: Go about your daily life and business, loving all the people God has placed in your life, while never giving up your faith or hope.
But the more I read about Elizabeth, the more I find myself riveted on her words of redemption, in Luke 1:25: “The Lord has done this for me … he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Elizabeth‘s story tends to be eclipsed by Mary’s, since it’s hard not to focus on the virgin birth. But the barren Elizabeth has a miraculous birth as well, finding herself pregnant well beyond the time to have children.
Remember Elizabeth? Mary’s cousin whom she visited while pregnant with Jesus? Despite living pious and faithful lives, Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, couldn’t produce a child. Then, almost too late in life (like Sarah before her), an angel told Elizabeth she would bear a son who would become known as John the Baptist. Incredulous, Zechariah lost his ability to speak; Elizabeth’s child, yet in her womb, jumped with joy when Mary visited … recognizing the Lord, even before birth.
Barren means more than just infertile; it means unproductive, unfruitful, dull, empty, devoid, lacking, bereft.
At one time or another – maybe even many times! – we…
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