“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” – Luke 18:27, NKJV
Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias were righteous people who walked in all of God’s commandments and ordinances. They were blameless. They were a godly couple who loved the Lord and were faithful to Him in all they did. They lacked one thing. They had no children because Elizabeth was barren.
How it must have broken Elizabeth’s heart that she could not bear children. Year after year she and Zacharias must have tried to conceive but to no avail. What must have gone through her mind as the years went by and she was getting older. Seeing her friends and neighbors have children while she remained childless must have been torture for her. I would like to think that Zacharias loved her, although the LORD had closed her womb. A wife needs to know that in spite of her inability to have children her husband‘s love for her will not change.
Did Elizabeth think about Sarah who had also been barren until she had Isaac in her old age? Or Rebekah? She bore Isaac twins after he prayed to God for her. Or Rachel who was barren until God blessed her with Joseph and Benjamin? And Hannah who couldn’t have any children but prayed about it one day and was blessed with the prophet/priest Samuel?
Was it still possible for Elizabeth to have a child? She must have clung to that hope for as long as she could but with each year, that hope must have slowly died as she came closer and closer to the age where she could no longer bear children. And now she was well past the childbearing age. However, God had a plan which He was about to reveal to Zacharias through His angel.
What a shock it must have been when Elizabeth learned that she would have a son. Did she doubt like Zacharias? I don’t think so. I believe that she had faith that in spite of her age, she was going to be a mother. She was going to among the few privileged women who had children in their old age. And this was no ordinary child she was going to have. He was to be a prophet who would prepare the people for Jesus’ coming.
Then, the big day arrived and Elizabeth gave birth to a son. Her relatives and neighbors rejoiced with her when they heard of how the Lord had shown her such mercy. When it came time to name the child, it was assumed that he would be named after his father, but in faith, Elizabeth insisted, “No; he shall be called John.”
And John became John the Baptist. Of him, his father prophesied, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God” (verses 76-78).
God did the impossible for this couple. He can do the same for you. Don’t lose hope. Trust Him.