SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:25 (TM) (larger reading: Luke 1:5-25)
"So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!" she said.
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It is Elizabeth, daughter of the High Priest Aaron, wife of the priest Zacharias, Mary’s cousin and soon to be mother to John the Baptist who is speaking. Her response was a response to the glorious news that she would soon give birth to a child. God was acting in a decisive way to address her unfortunate condition.
Now for our quandary for today: If God can cause a barren woman to conceive, does he have an answer to whatever it is that we are facing? Some will say, “Well, that was a different time and a different belief system.” Really? What changed?
The truth is… nothing changed except our willingness to look to God for answers. My personal belief is that God is quicker to answer our prayers than we are to acknowledge that the answer was from God. Some might go so far as to state that it would take a miracle for the need to be made… well, as far as I know God is still in the miracle business.
Miracles can be defined as making the impossible possible or just simply doing the unusual and unexpected. We each can view miracles differently, but the bottom line is that God is acting in a decisive way to address a human condition.
So I come back to the earlier quandary: Where in our life do we need a God given answer? The need should be acknowledged, admitted, spoken, even shared with others. Giving voice to the need or problem is more than half the journey to receiving God’s answer.
Most of us, if not all of us do not have the patience to wait for God’s answer – even if it is quick in coming. God desires to fill us with his grace and to show us his mercy, but … and this is a huge BUT … he will not act until our personal healing takes place. That is where our impatience comes into play. We do not take time to let the emotional, mental, physical or spiritual wound to heal. We quickly move on in life. We jump into new situations and new relationships before we are completely healed and made whole again. Then we wonder why we end up right back where we started.
God isn’t stupid. Why did Elizabeth have to wait so long before she conceived? The waiting period was painful for her and her husband, but wait they must. She longed for a child. Being barren was thought to be a curse from God. It was all by God’s timing. She patiently waited for God to provide. If she had conceived earlier would she have been prepared to raise a child like John? She waited even though her barren time was lonely and filled with longing.
Want an answer? Need a miracle? Then don’t look for an answer before God is ready to give it. Be patient. Take the time to pray and meditate on the need. The state of being barren is not pleasant, it can be a long time – a painful long time. We might even begin to think that the heavens are shut-up and God isn’t listening. The barren time is preparation time for God’s answer. His answer to our situation will be far greater than anything that we might create on our own, but wait for His miracle.
God help us fully realize that we continue to do what we have always done we will continue to get what we have always gotten. Boy have we been stupid. We have tried to make our own way in this life. We have created answers before you were ready to give us your miracle. We have missed out on the real blessings that we longed for and prayed about. Slow us down, help us heal and give us patience to wait. Barren time is preparation time for something greater than we can imagine.