But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years. Luke 1:7 NIV
How would you like to be known as “barren Elizabeth”? It was considered almost a curse in Bible days to not have children. It was assumed there was something in a person’s life in which God was not pleased. Zechariah and Elizabeth were good, Godly people, yet they had no children and they were past the normal age of childbirth.
In our ministry, Cheryl and I have many opportunities to hold babies. It is always, however, somewhat bittersweet. As wonderful as it is to rejoice with one couple, someone is always in mourning, because either they recently lost a child, or they have been unable to have one. We have learned it is a miserable pain.
I can’t pretend that I know how that feels, because I don’t, but having a minister’s heart, I can tell you that I do understand that it is a very real heartache to be childless and want a child. Holidays and the celebrations of birth of other children only remind the childless that a part of their heart is empty. When thousands of children starve to death around the world, it seems a tragedy that many couples have a remaining prayer request to be granted a child.
I suspect Zechariah and Elizabeth could identify with such couples. Their broken hearts were a reminder to them of their desire to be parents. Some of you reading this can understand the pain of those who remain childless, and desire to parent. Remember them this Christmas season. Share God’s love with them. Pray for them. Be sensitive around them. Be Jesus to them.
Have you personally known this pain? Do you know other who have?