As I have been reading my Bible (my church’s daily read Bible) I have been seeing how God moves in ways that seem a bit crazy. That timing is so important, and that even though we may not understand why things are the way they are, there is a purpose behind it. One of the stories I read was that of Elizabeth and Zechariah. They were unable to have a child, a curse in their time and yet they had done no wrong, no sin plagued their life but yet they were childless. I am sure that they prayed and prayed that God would grant them a child, but year after year their prayers seemed to be unanswered, or even answered no. But then, when Zechariah was serving in the temple (see that he was still serving God even though he did not get his way), and angel came to him and told him that he was going to be a father.
But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.[a] 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,[b] and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” Luke 1:13-18
Now, I can only image how this couple felt, after all these years when they are old, God tells them that he is going to bring them a child, and not only is He giving them a child but that he will prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah? People talk about how Zechariah doubted God and that is why later he is silent until his son’s circumcision when he does what was told to him by the angel.
Lets take a step back though, what if God had granted their request when they first asked for a child? Would they be known as the parents of John the Baptist? Would they have interacted with Mary when she was pregnant with the Savior? God’s plans for them were so much bigger than anything they could have even imagined right? How often do we get upset when God tells us no or to wait on something? How often is this waiting due to a much bigger and better thing? God’s plans are far bigger than we can imagine! When we choose to be obedient and consistent God does big things through His people. I am sure that while Elizabeth felt shame and worthlessness about not having a son for so many years, God knew that she would be one that would be celebrated later. Are we willing to have some time where we are not happy, in exchange for God using our life to do something amazing?