“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.” — Luke 1:13Read the full passage: Luke 1:5-25
W hen was the last time you were truly surprised?
Most of us like surprises. We like being surprised on our birthday. We like to surprise our spouse on an anniversary. We enjoy surprise wins by our favorite team. Most, if not all, like surprises.
My parents were no different. They married and like many couples began to hope and dream of the day that they would become parents. After the first couple of years, they began to earnestly pray for a child. Their hearts were saddened on numerous occasions, thinking this might be the year. They fought despair and many times were tempted to give up, but they kept praying and trusting. After another visit to the doctor with more disappointing news, they were told that it might not be meant for them to have children in the traditional sense. It might be time to begin seeking a child through adoption. After all, my mother was adopted. So, they began to discuss this option, all the while still praying and trusting. There was a sense of relief to know that this might be God’s way of answering their prayer, and through adoption, they could be a blessing to someone. Then, wouldn’t you know it, God seemingly said, “Surprise!”
I am God’s surprise for my parents. I am God’s gift to my parents, although some days they may not feel like it, just like you are to your parents. So, they named me “Nathan” which means ‘gift of God.’
In our passage, we read of another couple who had prayed and trusted for years to have a child. Elizabeth and Zacharias had well advanced in years and probably had given up the idea of ever being parents, but God had a surprise waiting for them. They kept believing and doing the right things and yet still had to sit in God’s waiting room.
After years of adversity, they were about to have the opportunity of rearing God’s forerunner for the Messiah. John the Baptist would be their surprise from God. John would be their gift from Him.