And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Elizabeth and Kevin felt ready to start a family after three years of marriage. However, after several months of trying with no results, Elizabeth’s enthusiasm was replaced with the growing concern that something might be wrong. After a year, they visited the doctor who had no explanation for their infertility and therefore no easy solution. They kept praying and believing God but for Elizabeth she felt as if God was silent.
As they approached Christmas 2004, Elizabeth felt a sense of desperation because this three-year mark could mean that they would never have children. After Christmas dinner with Elizabeth’s family, they decided to gather around for a time of prayer. Each member of her family prayed that at the same time the following year, she and her husband would have a baby. Three months later, they decided to do a pregnancy test and discovered that they were pregnant. One year later on Christmas day 2005 - just as her family had prayed - Elizabeth delivered their daughter, Cassidy. God had answered even though it seemed as if He was silent. Elizabeth felt that God had gone out of His way to say that, yes, He did hear her and that He was just waiting for the right time to answer in a miraculous way. They now have four children and each Christmas they have an extra reminder that God hears and loves them. As she looks back, she realises that God had been guiding all the details just to show that He loves them and that He is always listening even when it seems as if He isn’t.
I am pretty sure Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother could relate to and understand what Elizabeth went through. She was barren and earnestly wished for a son. To make matters worse, her husband’s other wife Peninnah would grieve and torment her because God had closed her womb. Yet, Hannah turned to God in prayer and trusted Him to work a miracle in her life. She even promised to give her son back to God if God honoured her request. God did not fail her. Through the chief priest, Eli, God promised that her prayer request would be answered and sure enough in the process of time she conceived and gave birth to a son, Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1-20). She kept her promise and gave him back to God to serve Him in His tabernacle all the days of his life. God, in turn, blessed her with five more children (v. 22; 2:18-21)! Even though she had to go through a season of pain and anguish, God had been listening and was putting things in place to grant her request … but it was about His timing! Just like Elizabeth and Kevin, God had been listening from the very first time they made their request but He had also been orchestrating everything according to His timing … and purpose.
Waiting can be difficult especially when you are not even sure your request will be granted. Both Elizabeth and Hannah had to learn to trust God even when He seemed silent. We too have to trust when no answer seems forthcoming, when God seems to have turned a deaf ear. It can be frustrating, it can be discouraging, it certainly hammers away at our faith. Yet, God does hear, He is listening. Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears are open unto their cry.” The issue isn’t that God isn’t hearing but maybe that we feel stressed and discouraged when He doesn’t respond as quickly as we would like or in the way that we would like.
We love to say that Jesus is the reason for this Christmas season. Just remember that Jesus is proof that God hears us. Through Jesus we now have direct access to God’s throne of grace. God is interested in listening to us, He is interested in what we have to say … even though He knows what we are going to ask before we ask it! God desires to listen to us because what we have to say is important to Him. Think about that. The God of everything is interested in what we have to say! He will never ignore us … He is always listening!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, this Christmas, make that step and gift yourself with the gift of salvation. That’s the reason why Jesus came to this earth, to offer us hope and salvation. God wants to hear from you. So, take the time to talk to Him today. He is listening!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.