The angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John…Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David… “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus…” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
(Luke 1:13, 18, 26-27, 30, 34-37 NIV)
I once heard a woman argue that twenty-five is a good age to have a baby. And I remember thinking to myself, “What is this woman talking about?” I couldn’t believe that in our constantly changing world, people still live with old mindsets. So yesterday, while reading the story of Elizabeth, I laughed out loud because I remembered what the woman had said and thought, “She probably thinks this is nonsense.”
Today’s passage makes it clear that heaven and earth were both well aware of the fact that Elizabeth was too old to have a baby (God didn’t need a reminder from Zechariah!). Yet that’s exactly what God needed to fulfill His purpose. He doesn’t operate according to our timetable, we operate on His. We need to rise above the lies people tell us. It’s not what they say, but what God says that matters. He can move in powerful and miraculous ways in our lives because no word from Him will ever fail. I forgot to mention that sadly, after a difficult pregnancy, the woman discovered that twenty-five is not always a good age to have a baby, as she had thought.