“How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
God’s promise had come true and both Zechariah and Elizabeth were overjoyed!
Tragically, Elizabeth felt a a failure because she was unable to have children and in her short prayer, we get a glimpse of the depth of her feeling as she talks about her ‘disgrace’. For years she had only known a twisted feeling of disgrace and the pain it caused her but now she carried a child who was growing inside of her and she was so grateful to God for her miracle.
Elizabeth had thought she was the most blessed person in the world until her relative Mary came to visit. As Mary entered the house, ‘Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.’
It’s amazing isn’t it! An unborn baby lays hands on his mother from within and she is filled with the Holy Spirit by God. In that moment, Elizabeth saw that Mary’s child was unique and she calls the baby ‘her Lord’. She confirmed what the angel had promised, that Mary was going to give birth to the son of God (more about that tomorrow).
Elizabeth experienced a complete turnaround from the depths of despair to ecstatic excitement.
As her child grew within her, Elizabeth also felt a deep faith and the reality of God’s presence grow in her life. This new lease of spiritual life seemed to grow more and more each day and she felt privileged as she experienced a growing intimacy with her baby and also with God.
I hope that when we are in the despair that we don’t let go of the belief that God can change anything. God may not do what we want him to but we need to encourage one another that He can do the impossible and transform any situation.
Is there someone who you know who is really struggling? If so, then pray for them and as you do so, please consider if there is anything you can do to bless and to help them.
This is the fourth in a series of short thoughts for advent to help us to consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus as we prepare ourselves for Christmas.
There is one for each day in December leading up to Christmas day, so check back tomorrow as we explore how God is at work in ordinary everyday lives.