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The Life of Elizabeth 4: Her Superior Example

The Life of Elizabeth Day 4 – Her Superior Example

Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45, ESV)

When something good happens to someone you know, how do you respond? Is it easy for you to rejoice with them? Or is there a little feeling inside that makes you wish the good thing was happening to you instead? On the other hand, what if it is you who is experiencing the goodness of God? Do you boast about it or flaunt your blessings?

In the last post on Elizabeth, we see that she easily fits into both scenarios. She was witness to something extraordinary happening to someone else and, at the same time, was enjoying a surprise blessing in her own life. Her responses to both situations are something to behold.

Luke reveals to us that Elizabeth’s miraculous conception resurrected her hope (1:24,25).

How her heart must have been full and her hands busy as she began to prepare for her miracle baby. And her good news? She must have been aching to share it! Yet it doesn’t seem as if she did. In fact, I find the manner in which Elizabeth received and enjoyed her blessing quite striking. After Luke confirms for us the miraculous conception, he adds these words: “For five months she kept herself hidden.” 

Hidden? Is that what you or I would do with such good news? I’m not so sure that would be the case for me. So, why hide? Was Elizabeth ashamed of her pregnancy at her advanced age? Was her morning sickness so desperate she couldn’t set foot out of doors? 

Commentators suggest a number of possible reasons: custom, perhaps to avoid uncleanness, or she may have been waiting until it was physically evident she was expecting. However, we can only speculate, at best. But this we know: it seems there were no Instagram stories or Facebook posts to create and share! While there is certainly nothing wrong with sharing good news, what I learn from this part of Elizabeth’s story the most is what she wasn’t doing. She wasn’t pridefully flaunting her news around the town well as others came to draw their water for the day. She wasn’t seeking out the gossipers of days past to say, “Look at me now!” She wasn’t harboring any smug attitudes.

Elizabeth didn’t seek any satisfaction in a superior attitude; she was content with her blessed answer to prayer and humbly exhibited a superior example. She had trusted God while bearing her shame, and now she would leave it to Him to remove it. Isn’t it precious that God longs to remove any shame we may carry around with us? 

Even if we don’t get the news we desperately long for, our prayer is that we would find strength not only in Elizabeth’s story but in her God. It’s truly difficult to find a closed door where our heart yearns for an opening, but we must trust God with what He gives, or doesn’t give. It’s not circumstances that define or display His goodness; it’s His character. And so while we see His goodness easily in this part of the story because it is good, His goodness is timeless and will never change—even when it doesn’t feel good or seem good.

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