Friday, December 2, 2011

More than pregnant

Even godly women deal with frustration, confusion, and seclusion. Zechariah  and his elderly wife, Elizabeth, were "both righteous before God," (Luke 1:6) but the extraordinary circumstances of what it took for them to make room for Jesus must've stretched the priest's wife in extraordinary ways. (Read her story here.)

When her husband came home to the hills from his temple service, he couldn't speak to or hear her. She must've been crazy to know what had gone on. Wouldn't you be??? She may've heard the buzz from the people who knew Zechariah had seen a vision while serving. What wife wouldn't feel frustrated with a man who couldn't communicate? Did he try to write the story for her? Did she cry? Did they do charades? Did Gabriel visit her too and fill her in?

In addition to frustration, there must've been confusion in her mind, wondering what had happened and what was to come. Only her "righteous" heart that was practiced in trusting Jehovah was up for the challenge of frustration and confusion. There's a lot we don't know, but somehow the aging couple  managed to "connect" and even be intimate enough to conceive the promised baby boy! Elizabeth was a flesh and blood, human wife who must've faced some frustration and confusion in her part of bearing the child to prepare the way of the Lord. Making room for Jesus wasn't an easy task for Elizabeth, but she was willing.

Since she experienced years of barrenness, there's no doubt that while she and Zechariah begged God for a child together, she had congratulated many pregnant women, had assisted in deliveries, and had watched countless friends and relatives have babies. It had to be painful to watch with empty arms ... over and over again. And yet when she was finally visited with God's merciful planting of a baby in her womb, "for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 'Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people'" (Luke 1:24-25).

Elizabeth was willing to make room for Jesus so God could do something extraordinary with her ordinary life.

The womanly "flesh" inside of her must've wanted her day to share, her chance to be the center of attention, her turn to have her stomach rubbed, her turn to talk about how she felt, and her turn to let the women hover as her belly grew. But Elizabeth was no diva, not even in her long, long, long awaited pregnancy. She chose seclusion.

To prepare room for Jesus in her life and heart, Elizabeth had to release her frustration and confusion; she used purposeful seclusion to clear out the worldly and make room for the heavenly. 

Elizabeth knew she was not only having a baby; she was preparing for the Messiah! She was bearing the man who would prepare the world for Jesus. She took the first 5 months to "make room for Jesus" in her own heart and mind, to worship the God who had taken away her reproach, and to prepare for the unique son she would bear, raise, and release. Only when the mother of Jesus came to her at the start of her 3rd trimester did she come out of her solitude. I have to wonder ... what did the older and younger relatives talk about and do and pray about and anticipate together during their 3 months together? What comfort it must've been to be together.

The two women knew they were more than pregnant! They were doing more than "just" experiencing the miracle of birth together. They were preparing Jesus room in their own lives and in their own hearts. And because they did, we can too. 

~ Are you able to trust God when you find  yourself frustrated and confused?
~ Are you growing in godliness so you're ready to deal with the unexpected? 
~ What's your response when God does something out of the ordinary in your life?
~ Are you willing to make room for Jesus so God can do something extraordinary in your ordinary life? 

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