“Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.” Luke 1:6-7 (NLT)
Zechariah and Elizabeth were both righteous people, but they were suffering. It was a silent cry heard only by God. It’s where you go when there is no one else to complain to since no one else can help but God. They had longed and prayed for a child but the years would pass until they had given up, concluding it must not be God’s will. They felt humiliated and hopeless. In their day it was a public disgrace to be childless, even considered as a curse. To make matters worse, Zechariah was a priest! Despite their silent cries, Zechariah and Elizabeth remained faithful, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. I’m impressed with how they remained devoted to God despite their circumstances. God heard the silent cries of this couple. Luke tells us that God sent an angel, Gabriel, to speak with Zechariah while he was on duty in the Temple. “The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.” (Luke 1:13 NLT) What is your silent cry? Maybe you’ve waited so long that you’ve given up hope and wondered if God was even listening. Even when Zechariah was told the good news, all he could see were the impossibilities. He was too old now. His wife was past child-bearing years. How could it possibly happen? But, with God, all things are possible! God hears the cries of our silent suffering and knows the longing of our hearts. Stay faithful to God despite the outward circumstances. God sees, God hears, and God cares. The persistent pursuit of God, despite the silent suffering of public shame, will be rewarded immeasurably.