Seeing signs of fruitfulness to come

Advent reminds us of waiting for fulfilment of promises to come.

It gives us hope that we will see answers to our prayers.

Have resurrection revival of our discarded dreams.

Ability to see signs of fruitfulness from what seemed barren before.

Elizabeth was barren, bereft of her dream of becoming a mother.

On the surface, she appeared to settle for being seen as one whose womb God had somehow forgotten to bless.

Resigned to rattling around her rooms with no tiny arms reaching for hers, no child to carry and watch over.

A descended daughter of Aaron, she knew that God’s ways are not our ways.

But underneath, in her heart? Hope burned strong, maybe weaker over time but still a wick she was unwilling to have extinguished.

Like us, Elizabeth lived with a sense that God hadn't forgotten her, despite how things may appear. Click To Tweet

She believed all things were possible for Him, even at this late stage of her life when her fertility would have naturally waned.

Wasn’t this the God whose wonder and glory was beyond all human comprehension, who performed miracles for her ancestors?

A God of miracles, of hope, faithfulness and abounding fruitfulness.

And so she continued to nurse the dream inside herself, faithfully longing for its birth.

Then one day her husband, Zachariah, was engaged in his priestly duties in the Lord’s temple when an angel of the Lord proclaimed to him the amazing news of Elizabeth’s fruitfulness to come.

He scorned its possibility and was accordingly rendered dumb for the duration of the pregnancy.

Because the proclamation proved to be true and his wife’s womb became enlivened with budding new life within.

budding new life within - WoJ

And her child, John, became the designated prophet to announce Messiah’s imminent arrival in the world and prepare people for His coming.

Better still… her cousin, Mary, was chosen to bear the coming Saviour – what a cause for great celebration – what an awesome answer for years of waiting and faithful, persistent prayer!

A family potentially ostracised in society’s eyes (one for their barrenness and the other for a surprise pregnancy outside of marriage) was elevated in the eyes of God.

Doesn’t this speak hope into our own situations, long-standing hopes and plans?

Let us take heart in seeing how fruitful our own lives can become when we're rooted in Christ Click To Tweet

All things are possible for those who believe.ย There is potential for change, for a life transforming ‘suddenly’ to occur at any time.

Yes, even for you and me sitting with our seemingly intractable circumstances, with the ache of unmet longings and broken dreams, disappointment and discouragement.

I’m not suggesting in any way that God is like a slot-machine Father Christmas ready to meet our every request. By no means.

God’s perfect will prevails; His wisdom reigns and His timing is unfathomable to us.

But Elizabeth’s experience encourages us to come to Him with steadfast faith, persistent prayer, renewed hope and expectation for Advent and beyond.

Lord of Life,

We live with wintry dreams

frosted over, buried deep

with paused plans and

spurious schemes we seek

to carry out, but they lie

dormant inside

sealed by fear and doubt

 

May we, like Elizabeth,

swell with renewed life

and hope within, our

barrenness yielding

to Your Spirit’s breath

and invitation to welcome

expectant warmth

of Spring

 

May we bear

signs of fruitfulness

despite long years

of waiting and resignation

May You ignite a spark

within our hearts and

open up our shuttered

doors once more

Amen

budding new life within prayer - WoJ

14 Comments

    1. Linda, you warm my heart with your words. I’m so pleased you see how “His warmth radiates here” and you’ve found some soul solace in stopping by. And I’m truly thankful for the faithful support and encouragement you offer to me here, my friend. Blessings of joy and peace to you.

  1. It’s so amazing how two people ostracized by society were elevated in God’s eyes. Such love He has as He seeks out the broken and rejected ones to bring light and hope into the world. There’s so much hope in that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Joy. Blessings and hugs to you!

    1. These words: “Such love He has as He seeks out the broken and rejected ones to bring light and hope into the world” -oh yes, Trudy! How thankful we are to be included in their number. I really appreciate the way you add your own lovely insights to the conversation here. Blessings and hugs to you too! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  2. Your words bring such life to those in a period of waiting and especially me. I find your word pictures to be stunning and love that a woman, named Elizabeth, can be such a strong role model for all of us as to what faith looks like.

    Advent is a time of waiting and longing but the promise that is fulfilled when Jesus is born is more than I can comprehend. May our hearts beat to the rhythm that God chooses and not our own. Blessings!

    1. Dear Mary, It’s wonderful how God gives us words to share that speak into the lives of others. It happens to me when I read your posts too. We each feed one another with the manna and insight He provides. Yes, this season highlights the longings of our hearts and how much waiting is an essential part of our lives. So often we want to hurry the process and press on to the next new thing God may have in store for us, forgetting how much He uses the interim time to teach and equip us for the journey ahead. I echo your desire to have “our hearts beat to the rhythm that God chooses and not our own” because that’s where the deepest joy is found. Blessings of peace and joy to you as you wait, my friend.

  3. How blessed I am by your words today, Joy. I love your beautiful prayer, and long for that ability to ‘see signs of fruitfulness’ from what seems barren. The eyes of faith. I am so glad I stopped by your sight today from Holley’s. Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Sandra. Thanks very much for stopping by! I’m so pleased you found a blessing within this post. I was also encouraged by visiting your site. Please feel free to drop by again. Bless you, friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I, too, pray this prayer that I will welcome expectantly all that God is wanting to do in my life for His Glory, to be all that God is molding and making of me.
    Beautiful post, Joy…beautiful.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. Thank you, Linda. I’m delighted to have your company as we pray for those things. The making and moulding are the hard yet oh so necessary part to go through if we are to become all that God desires us to be. I’m blessed to see your caring, faithful presence here, my friend.

  5. I love this, JOY. Such a beautiful message and promise of HOPE. Hope for today and hope for the days to come. The Christmas carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” has been on my mind a lot this season. With all the tragedy and chaos in the world, it seems to fit the season well this year. I’m clinging to this truth, that Longfellow penned so long ago, still true today: โ€œGod is not dead, nor does He sleep, For Christ is here; His Spirit near Brings peace on earth, good will to men.โ€ Thank you for reminding us of Elizabeth’s story. Your poem is the perfect complement to His word. Blessings, my friend.

    1. Thank you, June. You honour me with your kind words. I love the carol you mention; it’s not often sung by our church but you’ve tempted me to try to find a version to watch on-line. Those poetic lines from Longfellow are well worth sitting with a while. Such hope radiates from the thought that “God is not dead, nor does He sleep, for Christ is here..” Amen! I’m blessed by your visit, sweet friend, and grateful for the way these words have inspired your thoughts. Xx

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