Elizabeth’s story isn’t unique. In fact, it’s a recurring story in the Bible… Parent who desperately wanted a child were unable to conceive, but after patient and persistent praying, in God’s perfect timing, a child was miraculously born.
That’s Abraham and Sarah’s story. Miraculously, the “Lord did for Sarah what he had promised… Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him” (Genesis 21:1-5). Sarah was a spry ninety years old when she became a momma.
Isaac and Rebekah had a similar story. “Isaac was forty years old when he took as his wife Rebekah” (Genesis 25:20). For twenty interminable years (Genesis 25:26) they remained childless. Then, according to God’s plan, it finally happened! “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord was receptive to his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived”(Genesis 25:21). Twin boy, Jacob and Esau, were God’s gracious gift!
And you remember the story of Jacob and his two wives and two handmaids. (Four women in one house is never a good idea.) Jacob’s precious “Rachel was unable to conceive” (Genesis 29:31) and remained childless until ten other sons were born to Jacob. Finally, “God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son” (Genesis 30:22), Joseph.
Samson is another example. “There was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was unable to conceive and had no children” (Judges 13:2). After an angel of the Lord appeared to her, bringing word of God’s gracious provision, “the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson” (Judges 13:24).
And then, of course, there’s Hannah. She poured out her prayers before God, begging for a child. “Hannah prayed to the Lordand wept with many tears” (I Samuel 1:10). “After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel” (I Samuel 1:20).
Elizabeth’s story seems to be a common one.
“In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years” (Luke 1:5–7). Like Sarah and Abraham, they were past the age of childbirth. Most of their friends were great grandparents with galleries of portraits and pictures adorning their living room walls. Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home was quiet. No little voices had ever called Elizabeth “momma” or Zechariah “pops.”
“Elizabeth could not conceive.” But, as has been proved many times, God is Almighty, All-Powerful! He can! At His desire, in His timing, He makes the barren to be fruitful. He miraculously made Elizabeth a momma when she was an old lady … and John the Baptist was born!
“Children are a gift from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3, NLT). It’s always amazing grace.