Today, December 8th is Mother´s Day in Panama. As I think of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, I can’t help but notice how fitting the day is for such meditations.
A descendant of Aaron, a righteous woman, the wife of a priest, a mother in waiting…Elizabeth bore the stigma of childlessness in prayer. Not knowing if the will of God would ever include the fulfilment of her dream to become a mother, Elizabeth relied on the Faithfulness of the Most High. How do we know? We know because she carried with her a permanent reminder in her own name. The Greek Elizabeth is derived from the Hebrew, Elisheva which means: "My God is an oath" or "My God is abundance".
I imagine that at times, her longing and her waiting must have felt as if God had retrieved His favor from her. She must have fallen into despair and hopelessness after she realized that the possibility of carrying a child was all but gone. But then, she would hear someone calling out her name, a visiting neighbor greeting her, a passer by waiving goodbye, and the sound of her own name might have re-ignited the flame of hope in her heart again. “My God is an oath.” “My God is abundance.” And He will not forget about me…
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” Luke 1: 23-25
She praised the God who is an Oath and who is Abundance!
I can’t help but think of my own experience. After years of infertility struggles, heartaches and disappointment, the Oath of God was fulfilled. My God who is Abundance showed His favor to me and gave me two sons, two precious sons…and I too praised Him then and continue to praise Him every day for, after what seemed like an endless wait, He remembered me and took away my disgrace and my despair.
Elizabeth waited until the point beyond hope. She waited in all her neediness and helplessness, only to see the power of God made perfect in the impossible. It could not have been any other way. The child that she carried was the one who would paved the road for the Messiah…he could not have had an ordinary birth story himself. The miraculous is always surrounded by hardship and impossibility…otherwise it would not be a miracle.
Let’s continue to wait in the Lord as He transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary…as He makes all things new.
Happy Mother´s Day to all my friends from Panama!