My son and I were sitting in traffic today, waiting for the road to clear so we could make a left turn. He is learning to drive, and quite honestly, it was nerve-racking! I waited patiently as he had opportunity after opportunity to go. He was being overly cautious, and while I didn’t say anything, my insides were shouting, “Would you just go already?!” He finally looked at me and smiled, “You really don’t like to wait, do you?” I have no idea how he knew I was growing more and more impatient, but I digress…
As we drove home, I began to think about how in some ways, we all dislike waiting. We want our food cooked now. We loathe long lines at the grocery. We are impatient when stopped by a train. We think the light stays red forever… I could go on…
And aren’t we also sometimes impatient with God? Have you made a request to God, yet found yourself waiting for days, months, or even years for an answer?
Luke chapter 1 depicts the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, an elderly couple who were childless. During the time, it was a disgrace for a woman to be barren, so I can imagine how Elizabeth must have felt. How desperately she must have longed for a child! Yet they both remained righteous before God and continued in their faith.
Zechariah was a priest, and it was his turn to burn incense on the altar. As he was doing his work, an angel showed up! Can you imagine how shocked and fearful he must have felt as the angel began to speak to him? The angel, Gabriel, told him that his wife would bear a son, who was to be named John. He told Zechariah about how John would make him and his wife happy, and that he would be, “great in the sight of the Lord.” He would be filled with the Holy Spirit before birth, and he would prepare people for the Lord.
Whoa! After all that waiting, Zechariah and Elizabeth would be blessed with a child. But not just any child! John would grow up to be a great man and would do great things for God!
Of course, Zechariah did as many of us would do. He questioned the angel. In my opinion, his thoughts on this were rational, considering the natural way of things. He and Elizabeth were old, and past child-bearing age! But there is a lesson to be learned here… never question the words of the Lord! Since he didn’t believe, he was made mute, unable to speak until the promise would come to pass!
I love to consider how Elizabeth must have felt the day her husband came home, unable to speak, yet full of exciting news! I can imagine I would have been confused, wishing to hear every detail! When she finally understood, she must have been filled with joy and hope for the promise of a son! She had waited for so long, wishing for a child.
All of the promises came to pass, and John was born. He became a great man who preached about God’s Kingdom, and baptized many, preparing the way for Jesus. In fact, Jesus said of him, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.”
When I think of how Elizabeth and Zechariah prayed and waited for so many years, I love how they continued to serve the Lord. They didn’t even have a promise for a child, but they remained righteous before Him. They continued to seek Him, even though He had not yet given them the one thing they so longed for.
While there is no promise that you will be given that one thing you have been longing for, there is the promise of His blessing to those who walk in His ways. Psalm 119:1-2 says, “Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” (NIV) He blessed Elizabeth and Zechariah with a child… Continue to serve Him, and wait for Him. See how He will bless you!