Elizabeth shares the story of how God taught her about his perfect timing.
My entire life was spent in service to the Lord. I am a descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Through the generations God had provided children for the next generation of priests. I married Zechariah, a priest, and we wanted children. We prayed, but it did not happen. It seemed shameful to be as old as Zechariah and I were without having any children.
God answered our prayers with a definitive no—until one day when Zechariah went to serve in the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. When he came back home, he was mute, but he had a story to share. An angel appeared to him and told him that after all these years of praying—even after we finally had given up hope—our prayers were going to be answered. The Lord saw fit to send us a child in our old age.
I was shocked at first and thankful, of course, but I wondered, Why now? Why now, when I was so old that I would have a harder time keeping up with my child? Why now, when all my friends had grown children? Why me? This wasn’t a good time to have a child. But I remembered to thank God. I spoke to Zechariah and anyone who would listen, “The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people” (Luke 1:25). Yes, I was going to have a son.
Things became clearer when my young cousin, Mary, came to visit me near the end of my pregnancy. As soon as Mary began to speak to me, my baby leapt within me. I knew that Mary would be the mother of the One promised so long ago, the Savior promised to us! And this Savior was here, as an unborn child like my own. How blessed the mother of our Savior was standing right in front of me! How blessed we all were.
I understood then why God had us wait so long for a child. My child was to be the one who told people about the Savior. God chose my cousin, in his perfectly designed plan, to be the mother of the Savior. In the same way, he chose me, in his perfectly designed plan, to be the mother of the boy who would announce the Savior. It was wonderful to see the Lord’s perfectly laid plans.
It is my hope that from my life you might learn to trust the Lord’s timing. There were times of weakness, I admit, when I thought I had done something wrong. I wondered, like perhaps many of you do, why it seemed that many people who waste the blessings of the Lord or their time in service to earthly things seem to be so blessed. You may wonder why the Lord seems to hear the prayers of people who don’t listen to his Word or appreciate his promises but he seems to ignore you even when you are his faithful servant. I know I am sinful and impatient, but the Lord’s perfect promises and wisdom make no errors.
During this time, while you look forward to the return of our precious Savior, don’t lose hope. Don’t forget his faithfulness. Know that he is God; he decided in his time to send me a child and in his time to send Mary’s child for you and all the world. It was his perfect timing.
Author: Jaclyn Olson
Volume 109, Number 12
Issue: December 2022