By (Jane Hansen Hoyt)

Colorful lights that glisten, festive decorations that bring warmth and cheer, and the glorious sounds of “Joy to the World” fill the air as our attention is again turned to the birth of Jesus. The entire season brings a smile to our face, and a sense of happiness and expectation as we gather for times with friends and family. It is a time of sharing love and giving gifts.


Let me tell you about someone who received an unexpected gift after years of disappointment, of hoping, waiting, and perhaps times of giving up.

I am talking about a story that unfolds in Luke 1. It is the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth.

Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous people. They both walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord…blameless! Yet, they had no child! Elizabeth was barren and now they were both well advanced in years!

This appears to be a story with a period at the end of the sentence. How could life change the obvious facts as stated before us? They have passed the child bearing years.

In those days, the Jewish culture considered children to be a sign of God’s favor. Therefore, to be childless was considered to be a sign of His displeasure and a humiliating situation. It was the dream of every woman that she would bear children, particularly a son.

Because they were both righteous and walked in all the commandments of the Lord in a blameless way, sin did not appear to be the problem. Their hearts were open and right before the Lord. Yet, their prayer for a child went unanswered and seemingly unacknowledged. They had no child.

They had prayed, believed, hoped, and waited, but still no baby…and now, the inability of advanced years.

There comes a point in life, where you might think to yourself, I guess what I have been hoping for is never going to be and your heart hurts. It is something you have talked to God about. Yet, the answer to your prayer seems delayed…delayed for so many years that there is a quiet kind of giving up on the inside.

Read more here:: Expect the Unexpected

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