Sometimes really good people suffer reproach and embarrassment.

Having children was a sign of God’s blessing and favor, so when people looked at this wonderful but childless couple, Elizabeth and Zechariah, they probably wondered if the two somehow had offended God. Yet Elizabeth kept her heart and attitude pure before God.

This story is not one about childlessness as much as it is about Elizabeth being chosen to play her part in God’s plan of redemption. Elizabeth’s name means “oath or promise of God”. God eventually showed His favor to Elizabeth by giving her a son, who would become John the Baptist, to prepare the way for Jesus.

I often get wrapped up in “my story” or “my plan.” Like Elizabeth, I looked forward to all that life and marriage would bring. I did not anticipate the disappointments, disillusionment, and challenges that I would face as I followed the Lord’s leading and plan for my life. I have felt judged at times when I have fallen short in the eyes of others.

At some point, God lifts our eyes from our self-focusing, which is our nature, to see the marvelous thing that He is doing. He raises our downcast eyes to reveal who He really is, and what He wants to do in and through us. Like Elizabeth, we need to proclaim, “The Lord has done this for me!” In the midst of this Christmas season, no matter what disappointments life has brought our way, we have reason to hope.

Lord, please lift up my eyes today to focus on what you have done! Help me not to give up on living in a way that pleases you. Help me to play the role that you have for me, to walk in righteousness in my marriage and family, no matter what others think of me. Amen.

Go Deeper — Do you experience reproach from others who think that you have fallen short, or do you feel shame because they don't believe you have measured up? Release this to the Lord, and trust His greater purpose in allowing this pain or disappointment in your life. Rejoice in what He has done in your life, and celebrate it with others, focusing on the positive instead of the negative.

Read Further — Do you have an unfulfilled dream, or have you given up on your dreams? This short article might give you hope.

Tags: Nativity Luke 1
Photo Credit: Agnes Liinnea