From the very start, we’re born into this world, waiting. Waiting for the next moment, the next hour to get here…or pass by. Each day we’re blessed with twenty-four of those hours and if we slow down long enough to breathe and just rest in the waiting, no matter what we’re waiting for, we’ll realize that God is in each one of those tiny little moments…every single one of them.
That’s what Elizabeth did.
When I read and re-read the brief words that describe this woman–mother of John the Baptist, wife to Zechariah and cousin to Jesus’ mother, Mary– I can’t help but love her heart more and more. And with each new thing I discover about her depth, it also reveals the heart of our gracious and loving God for His children.
In my own life, there have been many things I’ve waited years for. Some have come to pass while others remain a hope and a dream. Other desires have been put aside because God clearly showed me they weren’t for me to have. I wish I could say I’ve always just accepted God’s “No” or persevered faithfully, while I waited patiently for whatever God’s good plan would be, but I can’t.
I want to live more like Elizabeth when I’m in the midst of harder days.
It’s even hard, at times, to keep fighting the good faith-filled fight in the everyday of motherhood, isn’t it? We want to teach our sons how to be content and even thankful, in all circumstances, butt how do we do this when things aren’t going our way?
We can look at the life that Elizabeth lived. She didn’t live with bitterness or resentment. She didn’t complain. She didn’t even live as a woman focused on the waiting. No, Elizabeth lived her life trusting God for His best and choosing to bless the people around her, even though things weren’t going the way she hoped. She placed her hope and trust in the One who knows best.
When we’re waiting for our hopes and dreams to come true, it’s not the waiting that will define or build our character, but the actions we take, or don’t take, while we wait.
Elizabeth waited many many years to have a precious baby. I am in awe of how she lived a contented life, full of grace, humility and devotion to her husband and her Heavenly Father. God knew all along that He would bless her and her husband, Zechariah, with a son in His own perfect timing. And this son, John, would be the one to help set the stage for the coming of God’s own Son, Jesus. Elizabeth was so very much a part of God’s great big plan.
God hears every one of our prayers. He knows the condition of our hearts and wants us to remember the heart He has for us. It’s filled with a love so deep that He came to this earth himself, in the most vulnerable way, to be with you and me. This is how we can know that if we’re waiting for something to happen, and it’s not, right now, God already knows about it and has a perfect plan in mind for each and every single one of us.
Unwrapping the Gift:
Read the story of Elizabeth in Luke 1 with your children.
1. As you read about Elizabeth, take note of how she lived her life, despite her circumstances. Together with your kids, list as many character traits as you can about her. Are there any “Elizabeths” in your life that have some of these same character qualities?
2. Is there anything you’ve been waiting and/or hoping for that isn’t coming to pass? Nothing is impossible with God. What is God calling you and your boys to trust Him for?
3. There are times when God answers our prayers differently than we expected. Share some ways God has been faithful to you and how He’s answered your prayers.
4. Elizabeth chose not to dwell on her circumstances. Instead she focused on serving God and others. Taking the focus off of ourselves always produces more contentment. With your sons, make a list of ways you can bless others this month. Maybe this could become a new monthly habit heading into the new year.
Megan and her husband, along with their four young sons live in the beautiful state of Washington. As often as possible, she and her family spend their time outdoors exploring and discovering the beauty of God’s creation. Megan is passionate about encouraging moms in their faith, sharing resources and ways for families to connect and grow, and is inspired by others willing to share their real-life stories. She and her husband write about all this and more at Devotional Family, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.