Day 15

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold



Luke 1:5-17

BY Debbie Eaton

Text: Luke 1:5-17

I wish I could sit and have a cup of coffee with Elizabeth. I imagine our conversation would be filled with tears and laughter as we talked about our shared struggle of infertility. Isn’t it remarkable that the women of the Bible were real women with real-life hopes and dreams, just like you and me?

As much as I relate to Elizabeth, I am drawn to the story of Zechariah. He was Elizabeth’s provider, protector and lover. He was strong and courageous, and he carried the heavy weight of her barren womb. The rumblings of town gossip must have hurt. I see a lot of my own husband in Zechariah.

It was in the middle of my infertile years that my doctor told me I would need to have surgery to remove some tumors. I remember being terrified knowing there was a chance that I would never be able to have children. My husband was strong but scared. He told me if I came out of surgery whole, he knew God would bless us with a child. During the three hours of surgery he pleaded with God to keep me safe. As I was rolled out of surgery in a semi-conscious state, I remember my husband saying to me, “We will have a baby someday.” The wait for our son took three more years.

Waiting is always so difficult because we never know if our countless prayers will be answered the way we hope. Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed these same kind of waiting prayers. The scriptures say, “And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).

Then, on an ordinary day when Zechariah is going to work at the temple, God put into motion the miraculous details of Zechariah’s story—a beautiful chapter in God’s ultimate plan. Zechariah entered the temple to burn the fragrant fumes of incense that represent the prayers of godly people, those in covenant relationship with God. Outside the temple were a multitude of people, also praying, when an angel appears to Zechariah.

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord.”

Their prayers mattered. Our prayers matter!  

A baby boy who was promised would be named John, which means “the Lord has shown favor.”  He was the child who would be tasked with preparing the way for our Savior—preparing the world for the One who would fill them with joy and gladness.

What a beautiful picture of the Christmas season! In this time of Advent—waiting for Christ’s arrival—God is preparing the way for us to have joy, gladness and rejoicing. He hears and receives our desperate prayers.  Let us stay faithful to God in prayer and in our actions as we invite others to experience the wonder and miracle of a baby boy that brings joy, gladness and love to the world around us.

“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you.” -Psalm 141:2

Are you praying and preparing the way for someone to experience the Savior?

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For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!

Post Comments (65)

65 thoughts on "The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold"

  1. KKiersten says:

    I struggle with the tension of praying and wanting to believe in Gods faithfulness & care, but also knowing his hearing and answering may not look the way I think it should.

  2. Joanna says:

    Thanks for this. I love the reminder of how human they were. How they struggles with and took joy in similar things. God heard their prayers and hears ours too. Loves us and leads us.

  3. jenadams87 says:

    I really wonder what they felt like as a couple praying for so many years for a baby. I wonder if they doubted God's goodness. Then I think about how we get to see the whole picture. How it played out. The plan that God had all along. In God's perfect timing, their son ushered in Jesus Christ.- the Savior. I still think, "God, why so long"? But He had a purpose, and here we are years later being encouraged by their waiting. Such a God-thing.

  4. Keelin says:

    Most days, I want to give up on my prayers. I think, “how could I pray for such a thing?” I forget that God is a merciful God and that he cares and that my prayers matter.

  5. Antimony says:

    Life can be hard sometimes. You want something so badly! And you pray and wait and pray and wait. And it seems like God must not hear … or He hears and doesn’t care! But I have to interpret life based on what I know to be true about God! His love, kindness, mercy. His forgiveness. His stability. He does love me. He does hear. He does care. And He has a plan! So big, and so good! I don’t have to understand. I have to believe. And trust. And wait. Even when life is hard. And people hurt me. God is good. In this I must rest!

    1. Keelin says:

      Thank you so much for this, Antimony. I get so discouraged about things that I’ve longed for and pray for. I begin to stumble and doubt that I am not good enough to receive a loving and Godly husband. I lose hope that I will ever attain a job with my degree or move on career wise. I feel so overwhelmed with Things like loneliness and debt and disappointment in myself. But thank you so much for your comment. You’re right, we must rest in the belief that our prayers matter. Godspeed.

  6. Jennifer says:

    My precious daughter Rachel told me about this devotional- she is a beautiful married young woman who will have her own children one day- it’s such a blessing to watch your children grow up with God and then share His love back to their mother!! Gods word is my comfort and keeps my journey well lit- I can’t see the future, or even what’s up ahead- but I can see the light of God’s love, Jesus, and I will continue to follow Him because it never fails- He always gives me what I need and more!!!

    1. rachelmsutton says:

      Love you, Mom :)

  7. Sam Grant says:

    I have never had to deal with infertility, I am not married. But their prayer lives speak to me the most. How consistent they were through times of trouble speaks such loud volumes to me. I am only 18. A college girl. Still living at home to save money. Without a job at the moment. No man in my life besides my father, church men, and our Heavenly Father/Son. But I am dealing with my own demons and reading stories about the power of prayer gives me such hope for the future. Everything will be okay. Everything that happens is for his glory. He loves me and will not let me falter. So thank you for giving this to us to read today.

    1. Brittney says:

      Keep fighting, keep praying, keep your eyes & heart on God. Everything WILL be ok :)

  8. Andrea says:

    This post was exactly what I needed to read today, moments before pulling it up I said to myself how another month has passed and I need to let go…and let God bring us a child if it is in his plan. We have 2 beautiful daughters who I am so grateful for, but have gone through 6 years of infertility to get here. God’s plan is so hard to heed to when you feel like your family is not complete! I am so in awe of the miracle of each life, and the miracle of this season. This is my first study and it has really made the season of Advent so much richer for me. Thank you for the thought provoking devotional!

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