After these days (Zechariah's) wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, "Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people" (Luke 1:24-25).
Read Luke 1:23-25.
Many husbands and wives struggle with the heartbreak of infertility. But Zechariah and Elizabeth experience something even deeper. During that period when a couple was childless, their neighbors often made false and hurtful assumptions about them.
Judaism had lost its proper understanding of the Old Testament. Instead of focusing on God's undeserved grace for helpless sinners, the Jews focused on their own worthiness. They judged their neighbors' relationship with God by the blessings He showered on them. Their good health, financial status, overall prosperity, social status, and number of descendants -- or lack of -- were indicators of their connection with God. No matter how much they honored God and trusted His salvation, Jewish society looked upon Zechariah and Elizabeth's infertility as proof that things were not quite right between them and God.
Now, at last, God has visited them and removed Elizabeth's social disgrace. But interestingly, Elizabeth doesn't go right out and clear up her reputation by broadcasting her pregnancy. Instead, she keeps her pregnancy hidden. Perhaps it is because Elizabeth knows God is doing something even greater than granting her the gift of a child-as special as that child will be.
God is sending His Son into the world, and her son will be His forerunner, His messenger. How surprised she will be in the sixth month when the mother of God's Son comes to be a guest in her house.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it is not easy to be judged and misunderstood by people-especially when I struggle through difficult situations. Grant me Your joy, peace, and patience as You guide me through this life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.