Our son’s adoption process involved a three-year trek through the foster care system. Our daughter’s journey included a six-year wait on the China Center for Adoption Affairs. But, in God’s providence, both adoptions were finalized the exact same day. Daryl was three years old, and Amelia just seven months when they became Worralls. A few months later, we stood before our church community to dedicate our children to the Lord.
As bumpy as my own road to motherhood seemed, Elizabeth’s was even more arduous. Her relatives and neighbors knew of her pain and patience. So, when she finally gave birth to a son, they shared in her joy. The community gathered eight days later to witness the circumcision of this miracle child.
According to custom, the baby would be named at the ceremony. Those leading the service believed he would be called Zechariah and were acting on this assumption when Elizabeth interrupted. “No! He is to be called John” (v. 60).
The awkward moment was made worse when the people questioned her judgment. But she held firm. Zechariah had somehow shared with her the angel’s instructions, and she was determined to obey. The crowd, however, was not convinced. They turned to Zechariah, still mute, and asked for verification. He wrote on a tablet: “His name is John” (v. 63).
Their astonishment doubled when Zechariah instantaneously regained his speech. This little family suddenly had the attention of everyone who wondered, “What then is this child going to be?” (v. 66). Clearly God was with this family. John’s childhood is summarized in verse 80, which attests to his growing strength of spirit. But we know that his faithful mother and father prepared him well for the call God had placed on his life.
>> Raising children in today’s world can seem like a daunting task. If you are a parent, how are you preparing your children to live out God’s call? If not, how can you support parents you know in this important work?
What a weighty privilege it is to be given a child! And how many challenges there are to raising a child in this world. Father, give us wisdom and sensitivity to guide the little ones in our lives.