Waiting can be painful.
This year has been full of long, agonizing waiting. Waiting for schools to open, see family and friends, travel or vacation, a job position to open, and relief from bills or payments that have started to pile up. We’re told to hang tight for another 2 to 4 weeks, but the waiting has begun to feel endless.
Elizabeth understood what it was like to wait. She’d married Zechariah with the hopes to bear him a handful of children, yet her womb remained empty, and each night, she set their supper table only for two. She watched her hands become wrinkled, and her hair streaked with gray.
However, Luke 1:6 claims she was righteous in the Lord’s eyes, careful to obey all the Lord’s commandments. When she became pregnant, as the angel foretold, she didn’t doubt God’s ability to fulfill His promise. Not only that she would give birth in her old age but that her son will be called a prophet of the Most High, with the power of Elijah. Her son, John the Baptist, would prepare God’s people for the coming of the Lord.
Once she’d given birth to her son, Elizabeth’s waiting wasn’t over, nor were her worries. The baby she cradled in her arms would someday become a prophet, and the world was notoriously unkind to prophets. Queen Jezebel had sought to kill Elijah and had been successful in killing other prophets (1 Kings 19:1-2). The prophet Jeremiah was tossed in a pit because King Zedekiah didn’t like what he told him (Jeremiah 38:6). Daniel was thrown to the lions (Daniel 6:16). It wasn’t uncommon for a prophet to be stoned, jailed, or sawed in half. Elizabeth, who’d waited so long to be a mother, knew her child wouldn’t have an easy life, but she trusted God’s plan.
Her son had a calling. He was to proclaim the coming of a savior. For 400+ years, the world hadn’t seen a prophet. But God was setting things into motion. John the Baptist was born to point them to the light of the world—the messiah that would save them. In the waiting, the worry, and the fears, Elizabeth never lost sight of God’s promises. God had a master plan, and it began with her trusting Him with her son.
My sweet friend, who has a lung condition, has been waiting in her one-bedroom apartment since March. I admire her because, like Elizabeth, she holds a grateful spirit—that each day and each breath is a gift. She remains positive because she trusts God is making a way.
Although waiting isn’t easy and the future is uncertain, God is making away in the wilderness, like Elizabeth, we need to change our waiting to anticipation. As Christmas draws near and 2020 draws to a close, we must wait like children on Christmas Eve, expectantly for the great thing God is doing because He has plans for us.
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” Matthew 3:1-3
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