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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Domestic Reflections Sunday ~ Luke 1:14

Since Easter I've been very slowly reading through the first chapter from the Gospel of Luke - very slowly because the miracle God bestowed on Zechariah and Elizabeth moves me to tears, joy, and thanksgiving. I've read it over and over each morning this week, highlighting the verses that resound in my heart before closing the cover of my Bible to reflect on them for the rest of the day.

Digging deeper into this chapter you realise the immense shame Elizabeth carried for all her married life, which we know must have been a long time because she is recorded as being "well along in years" (verse 18).  Jewish culture said that to be barren was a curse, and I can only imagine what this precious woman carried in her own heart and thoughts when each month the tell tale sign that her womb was empty became public knowledge in her village. Did the other women gossip about it at the well? Were eyes averted as she walked by, numerous stories passed between neighbours over 'what' she must have done to be cursed?

Years and years she endured the shame and disgrace of being childless ( verse 25) yet her husband was a priest, serving in the Temple, and they loved the Lord. 

Life can be like that can't it?
We love Jesus, we serve Him, yet it seems that our lives are 'barren' of blessing. Whispers may pass our hearing that we must be doing something terribly wrong - like not giving enough, not forgiving enough, hiding secret sins, being punished for our past mistakes...so many stories will come from the minds of those on the outside looking in. 
And maybe we believe them, perhaps we doubt our worth in God's eyes. 

I have felt that way. Many times. Even recently.
Which is probably why the Holy Spirit led me to read Luke chapter 1 - so he could show me my doubts and fears are unfounded. 

God allowed Elizabeth to live in public humiliation and shame for a very long time, and naturally this would have reflected on Zechariah as well. The two of them would have shared that loss of hope every month - perhaps over two decades or more - and as the years passed and they entered old age I believe all shred of hope withered away and they finally accepted a future with no-one to care for them and no-one to bless with a parent's love or inheritance.

But then GOD.
At the right moment, His moment, His perfect timing...blessing, purpose, JOY.

We are not here to live every day in bliss or to be given all we want at His hand.
We are here to glorify Him, to share Jesus, to wait in hope for the day when this broken life passes into something so magnificent that there are no words to describe it. 
And perhaps we won't see a miraculous blessing on earth like Elizabeth and Zechariah did, though maybe we will. In the big picture, the eternal picture,  the greatest blessing is yet to come and if we love our Saviour and do not deny Him, then it is ours as promised and paid for. Signed, sealed and delivered. 

So I'm thinking about the removal of Elizabeth's shame right now, and knowing - KNOWING - that will happen for me too. In His time. In His perfect way.

Bless you,

Download this week's Scripture card and devotion HERE

12 comments:

Nanna Chel said...

I love Luke's Gospel, Jenny. Yes, it must have been so hard for Elizabeth especially in the culture of the day. Sometimes we don't really know why things happen like they do but God does.

Sherri said...

It has been said that in each circumstance we are in, it is to receive a blessing or be a blessing to others. Of course we know how hard it is to want a certain blessing and have to wait on it.It could be said that Elizabeth was living through that circumstance to be a blessing to us by providing us with such an illustration of how God makes all things work together for our good. Thank you for sharing your very uplifting thoughts. It is lovely to be able to focus on such things first up this morning. God bless you Jenny.

Trisha said...

This is a beautiful post! Really so so wonderful. I am so thankful for you sharing this. This has inspired me to ponder and study it this week as well!

Baa. xxx said...

AMEN!

Käthe said...

Das hast Du schön
geschrieben Jenny !
Liebe Grüße zum Sonntag
Käthe

Farm Quilter said...

God sees the whole parade while we only see the float in front of us. Being pruned to perfection is always difficult, but He is preparing us to fit His perfect will, so it is a time of excitement and joy for us, that God is preparing us for a job only we can do. It is always wonderful when God sends us to the perfect verse, chapter, book to find the answers we need. May His blessings surround you and may you ever be cloaked in His love.

desertskyquilts said...

I love Elizabeth's story. It's obvious she was a good woman, a righteous woman. I love the part where Mary comes to see her and they talk together, too. Mary was in need of Elizabeth's counsel, because Mary was to go through a time of gossip and shame, as well. What Elizabeth had learned, what Elizabeth knew about the baby Mary carried - those things had to bring strong comfort and reassurance to a very young Mary. Maybe that was part of God's plan in bring Elizabeth's blessing later in her life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Elizabeth.

Ju said...

Dear Jenny,
One of the happiest days of my life was when I met her blog, and through it you, even virtually.
I am very far geographically - the Brazil is quite far from Australia, is not it?
But this geographical distance does not prevent the establishment of a bond of friendship.
Through its blog you can see the sweet and wonderful person you are; beyond beautiful creations we see is someone with a heart bubbling with kindness, generosity, warmth and great beauty. Through your blog have the opportunity to interact with a God fearing person and shares with his readers his art and also his biblical reflections. I like to follow their work; I like to be part of your team players and followers; like to learn a little every day of his beautiful art of embroidery and sewing; I like to keep track of your daily life, they also learn from their ideas for the home! Thank you, Jenny, for the opportunity to have a virtual friend who brings joy to my heart and it helps to strengthen my faith in the Lord! The world needs people like you. God bless you and your family every day.
Big hug!
Ju

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I've been thinking the same thing. But you have a way of focusing and expressing it. Thanks again

Linda Mullins said...

Dear Jenny....I have just discovered you thru Vickie's Kitchen and Garden and I am so glad. I have been able to read some of your info this evening, but it is time to go to bed for 3-4 doctor appt.'s tomorrow. Thank you so much for the free pattern; I could not get them otherwise. Looking forward to your emails and learning more. Blessings, Linda

Linda Mullins said...

Dear Jenny...Do you have the pattern for the spool Christmas the younger people made?

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Not sure what pattern you mean, Linda.