I found it very interesting that, during this expectant waiting season of advent, all three of my assigned passages dealt with stories of two older, previously barren, women who were given the gift of a child by God. Hannah and Sarah had both despaired of ever giving their husbands a son until they gave themselves over to God’s will and He fulfilled his promise to them by giving them each a precious baby boy.
The unbridled joy that their children bring to their lives and the pure devotion to God that they feel is truly inspiring. The only thing that Hannah and Sarah love more than the gift of their sons is the pure love they have for the giver of those gifts, God himself.
These passages also touched me on a very personal level. A dear friend of mine struggled with infertility for many years. But a few short months after she and her husband had come to the conclusion that she was getting too old and having a child was simply not in the cards for them, she found herself pregnant and gave birth to a lovely baby boy 5 years ago. Their son has brought them so much joy. He is a true gift for them both.
But, a year or two after their son was born they both realized that they would love nothing more than expand to their family and give their son a sibling. By this time my friend was firmly in the category of “advanced maternal age,” a label modern medicine gives every woman who is a day past her 35th birthday. And, predictably, 2.5 years of trying for another pregnancy ended in disappointment for them. But, once again, several months after they had given up hope and stopped trying, my friend was both shocked and ecstatic to find herself pregnant.
This pregnancy has taken a greater toll on her with a range of manageable complications which have ensured that she is never very comfortable and often pretty miserable. But through it all her baby girl has remained healthy and she is expected to make her appearance right around Christmas. She may even share a Christmas Eve birthday with her beautiful mother. Whatever the day, the expectant waiting will have been worth it. She is a gift from God and she will be loved.