The choice to give credit

Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
- from Luke 1:24-25

What exactly has the Lord done here?

Elizabeth’s pregnancy was a long time in coming. Elsewhere she is described as “very old” before she became pregnant. From what we know of her, she had probably prayed and fasted and cried out to God to help her to have a child. But when it comes down to it, her decision to give God credit for her pregnancy is entirely her own free choice.

This happens all the time. We ask God to show up, to intervene, to provide, to help, to rescue, to work a miracle. We pray and wait and pray and wait and pray again. And sometimes the thing we’ve been praying for happens: the check comes in the mail, the phone rings, the test shows two lines. We’re so happy! But we have a choice.

We can almost always find a natural explanation for God’s handiwork. Human beings have been blessed with that wonderful spark of creativity. It could have been a coincidence. Maybe it would have happened anyways. We can’t be certain.

Crediting the Lord is a choice that we make. And it’s a choice worth making.

Elizabeth could have given Zechariah a high five and thanked her lucky stars, but her choice to credit the Lord with her pregnancy helped her engage with the Lord’s activity in the world. In the way God met her need, she catches a glimpse of the great news that’s coming through Jesus: the Lord shows us favor and removes our disgrace. Elizabeth’s choice to credit the Lord creates space for her to celebrate God’s faithfulness and anticipate more of it in the future (as we’ll see later this week).

Take some time today to celebrate what the Lord has done for you. How has God shown you favor and removed your disgrace? Identify God’s work and express your gratitude to him.

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