Read Luke 1.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were quite a couple. Verse 6 told us that they “were righteous in the sight of God.” In other words, they were both people who did right, who loved what was right. The next phrase in verse 6 modified the description of their righteousness when it said, “observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” Their religion was not for show; it came from careful, diligent hearts.
If you were the Lord, these are the kinds of people you’d want to be parents in Israel. Since they were righteous themselves and kept the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly, they would certainly instruct their children in God’s word and show them what it looked like to live a righteous life.
Yet verse 7 says, “But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.” They never had the opportunity to be parents and their advanced age meant they’d given up on the dream of having children long before (see 18). I wonder how often each of them prayed, asking God for a child and wondering why he would give children to all their neighbors and extended family members, but not to them.
The answer is that God DID want them to have a child–one very important, unique child: John the Baptist.
His conception and birth were precious gifts of God to this couple. But God’s purpose was not just for them to have the joy of becoming parents. In addition to that, Elizabeth’s conception was a precious gift to all of God’s people for the work that he would do for the Lord (vv. 16-17).
Zechariah and Elizabeth may have wanted many children but the one and only son they did get was exactly the kind of child they would have wanted. Their faith and their patience was ultimately rewarded by God.
How often do we give up praying and asking God for good, righteous things because we don’t believe God will give them to us?
Even if what we want and pray for is not God’s will for us ultimately, isn’t it glorifying to him that we want and pray for the salvation of someone we love?
Isn’t it honoring to God when we pray for any request from godly motives, even if God does not seem to want to grant it?
God’s ways often make very little sense to us but they make perfect sense to him, especially when viewed from his eternal and perfect perspective.
So trust him, even when you pray for years with no change. God is doing something so trust him to use you and your life in the appropriate place at his appropriate time.