His People: Elizabeth
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3: 20-21 (NKJV)
“Through all her years of feeling less-than, Elizabeth had worshipped a more-than God.” (P.35, Women of Christmas, Higgs)
Oh, how do I convey this deep soul connection that I feel with Elizabeth – to scratch out the words on brokenness and healing? May our sweet Jesus use these meager words to bring hope, belief, and trust in the midst of our loss, hurt, and pain.
Beautiful, broken, blessed, barren…Elizabeth!
I think we all know the women that put on a good face. When asked how they are doing they always respond with, “I’m doing well!” They don’t show much of their skirts, and keep their pain close to the cuff. I am one of those women. I don’t know how to express those emotions that hurt me. Instead, I go inward and lock the door on my heart. I do, fortunately, have those special people, such as my sisters, that I can commiserate with. Still, it is difficult to reach out my hand in such vulnerability. It is something I am working to correct, knowing that these emotions are as necessary as the happy ones.
Elizabeth was a woman that hid her pain well. In her day to day I am certain she saw glances and overheard whispering when she walked into a room. This must have lanced her tender heart. The feelings of inadequacy and being a burden had to be forethought in her mind. Yet, she never quits serving God in love and faith. I believe God is her joy and delight. She loves Him with a deep passion.
I imagine her constantly talking with God. As she kneads dough she would lift petitions for Zacharias, pulling weeds from her garden her lips would silently move for the sick boy three doors down, and surveying the expansive heavens through her bedroom window she would plead with her Lord to bless her with a child.
It is my belief that Elizabeth never lost the desire for a child nor quit believing that God would answer her prayers.
And then, after years of brokenness and emptiness, hurt and resentment, tears and pleading, as an elderly woman…
“Elizabeth became pregnant. She avoided public contact for the next five months.”
- Luke 1:24b (The Voice)
Why did Elizabeth feel it necessary to stay secluded for her first five months of pregnancy? What was the purpose behind it?
Perhaps it was so God could use her to bless Mary and herald the truth of what Gabriel foretold with an exclamation of praise.
Elizabeth was not a showy person. In those five months, I believe, she was working out her faith. She was likely asking for forgiveness for the bitterness and doubt – humbling her heart to match the rhythm of her Maker. She also worshipped. I think she took time to believe the miracle for herself.
Often times, we must sit with what God has given us – ask Him for the strong shoulders to carry the blessing His favor has bestowed. We must allow Him to love on us and reassure us so that we can do the same for others.
“I have lived with the disgrace of being barren for all these years. Now God has looked on me with favor. When I go out in public with my baby, I will not be disgraced any longer.” – Luke 1:25 (The Voice)
(I love how Luke expresses the reaction of the people to God’s blessing on Elizabeth and Zacharias. The news of John spreads like wildfire. People are filled with reverence and awe – wondering how God will use him.)
WORSHIP…You see it countless times in scripture. Utter abandon, often prophetic, exaltations spill from lips filled with the Holy Spirit.
Each and every time I read the passage in Luke where Mary greets Elizabeth causing John to leap for joy in Elizabeth’s womb, I cry. Tears fall hot down my cheeks and I am undone.
God takes the least of these & sits them at the head of the table. When the Holy Spirit moves in a life it is undeniably profound. It spills over – hot tongues of flame igniting souls ablaze – and impacts lives. We feel the impact of both Elizabeth and Mary’s worship today! This is something only God can do, use two women of little means in such a mighty way!
Elizabeth’s proclamation leads Mary to worship in song. The “Magnificat” is one of the most beautiful pieces of prophecy in all of the Holy Scriptures. (Oh Mary, you are remembered…)
“When the time was right, Elizabeth gave birth to a son. News about the Lord’s special kindness to her had spread through her extended family and the community. Everyone shared her joy, for after all these years of infertility, she had a son!” – Luke 1: 57-58 (The Voice)
“When the time is right…”
I have begun to ponder why things haven’t manifested in my life. Sometimes, surprisingly enough, it just may not be about me. It might cause a bitter root in another if a certain blessing came my way. I could inadvertently hurt another beloved of God. It has changed my prayers considerably. The affect we have on the body runs deep.
One of the biggest lessons God continues to teach me is on His perfect timing. His all-encompassing hand moves with perfect synchronicity. He is also making it clear that He uses me. He uses you. He uses us in ways we do not fully understand to tell His marvelous narration. He is also telling a personal story – starring you! God has written a storybook for each one of us. He pulls our stories out and shares them with the multitude of Heaven. Our names are engraved in the palm of His hand, and ‘when the time is right’ we will be gathered up in them…forever!