Everything is Possible from Hidden in My Heart: A Lullaby Journey through Scripture, Volume !!n
When the time is right, I, the LORD, will make it happen. Isaiah 60:22
The maternity waiting is not a room many find easy to tolerate. Infertility. Why can I not have a baby? I did everything right! I got married first. I love my husband. We would be loving parents. I have been patient. I have jumped through all the hoops: rhythm, temperatures, timing, testing, more testing, and more testing. I look around and “people who have no business AT ALL being parents have not one baby, but a baby a year!” What is up with this God? Why do You allow this to happen? Father, don’t you know it is a curse not just in ancient cultures but in today’s society if you cannot get pregnant. If I have to go to one more baby shower and act happy about someone else getting the answer to my prayer, I. WILL. SCREAM.
Even as I type these words one I love very much is in the throes of this time out. Month after difficult month they wait and hope and pray and try to stay positive and have faith in the One who knows best. Sweet ones, you are being prayed for even as I write. This is for you!
Elisabeth is the new testament version of the old testament woman, Sarai, whose “womb has wept” her entire adult life. Elisabeth’s days of childbearing are now long since past. Her husband is a priest, so you know they have lived a good life: Go to the Temple, make the sacrifices, dot the i’s and cross the t’s. (Luke 1:6) Scripture calls them righteous. Culturally, the thought is: she must have some hidden sin or she would be blest by God, right? Surely. This makes me grind my teeth. These “friends” are like Job’s friends. Why are we so quick to judge? We ASSUME which is a way of playing God in the life of another. Lest you think otherwise, let me confess right now I too have been like Job’s friends at one time or another. Also been the recipient of this kind of verbal abuse. Father, forgive me.
Elisabeth has attended many a “baby dedication” and presented many a baby gift as the wife of a priest. Each time her heart pleads with the Lord for a baby of her very own to have and to hold. Heaven is silent: Never giving an inkling of what is to come. Her time out is intended to reveal the God of miracles and the God of salvation.
Luke the physician records her time out story. (Luke 1:5-24, 36-45, 51-80). I love how it includes the father’s time out story as well as this soon to be mother’s! Both had prayed! It is not just about the mom! I wonder if Luke was a gynecologist. I love how he includes so many details in this story. No one liner here.
Zacharias is also elderly; Elisabeth’s husband has won the lottery and is chosen to go into the Holy Place to burn incense. While he is secluded with God, an angel brings the news they have long awaited. They WILL have a child AND it will be a SON! Not only will they have a child, this child will be used by God for a holy purpose designed only for this child.
When Elisabeth realizes she is with child, she stays out of the public eye and sequesters herself. We are not told why. Could it be to keep down gossip? To limit her activity to protect the pregnancy? To prevent her pregnancy from being a source of great sorrow to another as she has known for so many years? Maybe, all the above. One thing we know for sure, she used the time to thank God for His faithfulness and for hearing her prayers. (Luke 1:24-25) During her sixth month, well after she has felt life living within her, she gets a visit from her very young cousin Mary from Nazareth. Mary is in a time out of her own and runs from the accusing eyes and gossiping lips–she is pregnant and not married. As Mary entered Elisabeth’s home and spoke, the purpose of Elisabeth’s time out became crystal clear: the Lord of Heaven had chosen her to carry the one who would prepare the way of the Messiah! Jesus, newly conceived, in the womb, already recognizable by the baby Elisabeth carried as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Here is an argument for life in the womb begins at conception.
Three months later, John, who we know as John the Baptizer, was born. An elderly mother gave birth to a son, the forerunner of Christ, just as the angel had spoken. Her faithfulness noticed. Her patience rewarded. Her joy unspeakable. Luke tells us “her neighbors and cousins heard and rejoiced with her and that fear (awe) of the Lord dwelt among them and news spread throughout the region of all God had done. Elisabeth and Zacharias had been used for God’s glory and He did them good!
What can we learn from the maternity waiting room time out? First, NOTHING is impossible for our God. We give up too soon on our miracle working God. He has a plan and a purpose for His every decision. Yes, heaven is often silent, but when Heaven speaks it is to a watching and waiting world. Second, when we wait, our joy is increased and spreads even to those around us. Third, our wait will have eternal value!!! Fourth, our wait is NOT punishment! Our wait is too reap a reward that is above all we could ask or even imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)
Are you in this waiting room? You can relate to Elisabeth and Zacharias and your life is above reproach. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Believe that He can and will do immeasurably more than you can think or ask! Remember, “to those who believe, no miracle is necessary and to those who doubt, none is sufficient.” To our great God one day is a thousand years and a thousand years is a day. Time is relative only to us. While we wait in time out, His sovereign will is being accomplished. He is never late. One day, even long after you think it impossible, you too may be “late.” Many will leap for joy with you!
A Baby Changes Everything Faith Hill