But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
It was what Zacharias and Elisabeth had been waiting for—a child of their own, a precious baby to raise and nurture. It was also, in a sense, what their nation had been waiting for—the messenger who would herald the coming Messiah, the one who would proclaim the Lamb of God come to Earth to save them from their sins. And so in the midst of God’s perfect plan and in the course of His will being worked out, He brings a special miracle into the lives of Zacharias and Elisabeth. Something that was a personal longing and desire of their hearts was met in the fulfillment of this special messenger that God ordained to prepare the way for His Son.
God cares about these kinds of things—those desires, those heartaches, those things we may feel are missing from our lives. And He doesn’t disregard them, but weaves them into His overall plan for this world and for our lives. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us, and He uses us in many different ways. And He bestows upon Zacharias and Elisabeth the task of raising this special baby that He would use even while giving them the joyful experience of having a baby of their very own.
But Zacharias and Elisabeth weren’t the only ones rejoicing, for this baby brought joy to the hearts of many—not only their family and friends and especially Mary, but those who would later be baptized by him and follow him and come to know Jesus because of him. And so, many other people benefited from this blessing that they received, and doesn’t it often work that way in our lives, as well? Some special gift God gives to us spreads outside of just our home and touches many more lives. A blessing we receive for ourselves often becomes a blessing to others, too.
God knows those longings and desires of our hearts, and that is demonstrated so clearly in this story. God has a plan and purpose for our lives and for our world, and that is also demonstrated here. And God, our infinitely wise Creator, brings things together in incredible ways to move His plan forward even as He answers those personal and meaningful prayers in our small lives. What an amazing and gracious God who truly cares for us and who allows us to have a part in His vast overall plan for mankind.