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Day 4 of 28: He’s in the Waiting



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He's in the Waiting

The Gospel of Luke begins on a stranger note than the other three Gospels. It doesn’t dive right into the story of Mary and Joseph as we see in Matthew. It takes you through another story first to get to the main course. It’s the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

We don’t know much about these two, but we know that Zechariah was a priest in the temple of Judea. Zechariah had a wife named Elizabeth. Of this woman, we only know she was embarrassed by her lack of fertility. 

Modern-day Elizabeth likely would have been at all her friends’ baby showers yet probably tired and broken down by shopping for other people’s babies on Amazon and Target. I imagine she wrestled with being happy and rejoicing with others when they were getting the exact thing she wanted more than anything.

You see, Elizabeth isn’t some distant, removed character of the Bible. She was a real woman who waited, doubted, and kept pressing even when she felt hopeless.

We don’t get the complete interior working of Zechariah and Elizabeth’s lives together, but we know from the text that Zechariah prayed a desperate and repetitive prayer to God. We know he must have said a hundred times before, “God, we want a baby. Did you hear us? Did you forget about us?”

The Bible does not explicitly tell how long Zechariah and Elizabeth waited to have a child. Still, I can only imagine the aches and shaky prayers that came with so many years of asking only to hear back, “Not yet.”

I wrote this series for the first time while expecting our daughter Novalee. The pregnancy experience made me feel closer to Mary and Elizabeth as my fingers tapped against the keys. But I could not help but think about the millions of women trying to conceive, and it hasn’t happened for them. I can’t help but think about and remember the many of us who are waiting for something to come to fruition, but all we ever hear, if not perfect silence, is the “Not yet.”

Friend, if you are experiencing the “not yet” right now, I want you to know I am with you today. I see you in that waiting room.

I think it is far too easy to package up the story of Elizabeth and say, “See!? Elizabeth is someone who was waiting for something, and then God showed up.” Yes, this is all true. But anyone who has felt the waiting period knows the feelings and longings and pain of another day unfulfilled leaves scars. It isn’t something you get over instantly (or sometimes ever). It stays with you.

The waiting changes us.

It turns us into different versions of ourselves.

Even though the Bible makes it clear that waiting is an unavoidable part of life, it is still so hard to be able to say, “All of this has a purpose. All of these unfulfilled yearnings are turning me into a steadfast person.” That’s not something we easily utter or can tell someone else when the waiting has taken a turn for “too long.”

The waiting period for Zechariah and Elizabeth was not because they’d messed something up years earlier, and now they were walking out a punishment of barrenness.

No matter where you are today, God sees you in the waiting. He counts every prayer. He knows what your heart yearns for, and the Bible says that if you cannot specifically ask for it, God will still know your desires by the groans of your heart. That is our God.

He is a God who does not dismiss us when the waiting feels endless. He is a God who does not walk out on us or use the waiting to punish us.

Our God does not keep a tally of our mess-ups, waiting to dole out punishments. Quite the opposite, he is near to those who are brokenhearted. He is close to those who have yet to see the promise in the land they’ve been trekking through for tiny eternities. He is a constant companion— there right alongside you— with this backpack on and his water bottle filled up.  

He does not grow weary. Instead, he leans in at the moment where the strength is gone and whispers, “Hey you, lean into me. You can’t walk any longer? Hop on. I’ll carry you.”

There is more to the story, friend. The story doesn’t end in the valley.

Let’s keep moving forward and see what happens next.


Luke 1:5-7

Steal This Prayer

Dear God, you see me in the waiting and count all my desperate prayers. You see horizons and new beginnings where I can only see fog and desperation. Please help me stand firm in the waiting and know that you are equipping me to be stronger. And on the days I cannot stand, please carry me.

Carry me and hold me until I can run again.

I Love Hearing from You!

In moving my blog to a newer platform, I sadly had to let go of the thousands of comments and conversations that came from readers over the last 10+ years. This grieves me deeply but I know there will new conversations, fresh words of wisdom, and opportunities to create close community once again. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be reading + replying on a regular basis.


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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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