The Women of Christmas: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

The Women of Christmas Bible Study Blog | Liz Curtis Higgs

Hard to say which is more difficult—being patient or being quiet. Elizabeth spent a lifetime waiting, hoping, praying for a son. Month after month, year after year, the only thing that grew inside her was more patience.

When the happy day came and her prayers were answered, she kept the news of her pregnancy to herself, not shouting it from the hilltops, not even venturing past her door for five long months of quiet seclusion.


Elizabeth surely had “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4). If, like me, your tendency is to be impatient and anything but quiet, let’s see what we might learn from our first-century sister.

And do take a look at Elizabeth’s very own Pinterest board in beautiful burgundy—always a flattering color on a mature woman.

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Read Chapter Two: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
Read Luke 1:19–25

Elizabeth fell silent by her own choice. Zechariah fell silent by God’s choice. When her husband heard the good news spoken by the angel Gabriel and voiced his doubts, those were the last words Zechariah said for many months.

“And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens” (Luke 1:20), Gabriel told him. Many commentators believe Zechariah not only couldn’t speak, he also couldn’t hear, since the Greek word kophos is also translated “deaf,” and later his friends spoke to him with their hands (Luke 1:62).

So. No sound, no speech.

Punishment for his sin of unbelief? No. This was the proof Zechariah had asked for. His advanced age and Elizabeth’s barren womb were no match for God’s power. The same God who took away his voice could assuredly give him a son.

Listen, beloved: God is not limited by our faith, nor hampered by the lack of it. Even if we don’t believe the promises written in God’s Word, they will still “come true at their appointed time” (Luke 1:20).

That’s what God was communicating to Zechariah back then, and to us right now.
You are not in charge. I am.

Crown him with many crowns

When Zechariah came out of the temple and into the waiting throng, “he could not speak to them” (Luke 1:22). They knew at once this wasn’t a throat problem. Their priest had clearly experienced a holy encounter in the temple and seen “something special from God” (NLV).

Zechariah would never be the same. Elizabeth was changed as well. When we come face to face with our Creator, he makes a dramatic difference in what we think, what we say (or don’t say), and what we do.

“After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant” (Luke 1:24). A matter-of-fact miracle. No bells and whistles, no fanfare. In the silence of their bedroom, in the stillness of the night, a child was conceived by the grace and mercy of God.

Rather than tearing around their village of Ein Kerem, telling everyone their happy news, Elizabeth stayed home, “and for five months remained in seclusion” (Luke 1:24). Once again, our woman of Christmas was patient, quiet. Perhaps waiting for the quickening, that first noticeable movement in the womb.

A tiny flutter, yet a seismic shift for a mother-to-be.
My child is real. My child is alive.

Waiting for the Quickening

When Elizabeth emerged from her self-imposed silence, she did so glorifying God: “The Lord has done this for me” (Luke 1:25). These are the words I want written across the pages of my life: “How kind the Lord is!” (NLT).

Elizabeth knew it wasn’t her righteousness that caused her womb to be filled.
It was God’s righteousness, God’s goodness, God’s kindness, God’s love.

Her words demonstrate Elizabeth’s maturity far more any wrinkles or age spots might show us. “Look what the Lord has done for me!” (ERV). Even the naysayers of the neighborhood couldn’t argue with her baby bump. “This is the Lord’s doing” (CEB), she told them.

God took away not only her barrenness, but also her heartache, her sorrow, and her shame.

Her story assures us of God’s ability to make all things new. His love fills us up and makes us whole. His mercy assures us our past is forgiven and forgotten. His power alters our present and guarantees our future.

Can you wait patiently, confident that God is at work in your life? Can you listen for his voice, rather than fill the air with your doubts? Can you say with Elizabeth, “How good the Lord is to me” (PHILLIPS)?

Those are the questions I’m asking myself this morning. Please, Lord, may I answer with all my heart, “Yes, yes, yes.”

Thank you with all my heart

From the Study Guide

Elizabeth spent all nine months of her pregnancy with a husband who could not speak or hear. In what ways might that lengthy silence have been a challenge for these two—individually and as a married couple?
We’re so accustomed to expressing ourselves with words that it had to be difficult for this couple to communicate only non-verbally. Facial expressions, body language, and hand gestures—all familiar after so many years of marriage—would have covered the necessities of life. Pass me the lentils. I’ll wash if you’ll dry. Can you get that itch in the center of my back? But volatile emotions could easily stay locked inside, and frustration might look more like anger building into rage, without any words of explanation to smooth hurt feelings.

And how might that silence have been an unexpected blessing?
Without words to get in the way, these two could really look at each other, letting their eyes speak for them. Touch would take on new significance. Intimacy would be heightened. Sounds are often a distraction, while silence lends itself to deep thoughts and long internal conversations. They would surely understand each other—and themselves—better after so many months of solitude, and emerge with a greater faith in God and deeper love and appreciation for each other.

If the Lord silenced you even for a day, what lessons might you learn?
Actually, the Lord once silenced me for several days with laryngitis. I quickly discovered that I talk too much and listen too little. I learned that unspoken prayers are still heard, and unspoken thoughts still help us make sense of what we’re experiencing. I was shocked to find that life went on amazingly well without my ongoing commentary. I also decided that my husband was even brighter than I’d realized, and that my children were more compassionate than I knew. I was almost sad when my voice returned. (My family probably was too, but they were kind enough to keep that under wraps!)

Now it’s your turn

Two simple questions this week:

  • Was there something in Chapter Two that stood out to you?
  • What might you discover if the Lord silenced you for a day?

Kindly share your response under Post a Comment below. As you know from reading various quotes sprinkled throughout The Women of Christmas, I treasure your words and the encouragement you offer one another.

If you missed my post on Chapter One, you’ll find a link below. Don’t have a copy of The Women of Christmas yet? Here’s the best price I found this week online.

Bless you for making time to study God’s Word together this busy season!

Your sister, Liz

The Women of Christmas | The Greatest Gift

P.S. Here’s your personal video invitation to join me online with Ann Voskamp for Christmas at the Farm: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. Such a fun, encouraging hour! Our webcast will remain on both our websites for many seasons to come. Thanks for joining us!

61 Responses to The Women of Christmas: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

  1. Nicole Shuglo November 20, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    What we call miraculous, God calls business as usual (p.30)… What an awesome thought to ponder as I rise to start my day!

    Just recently, I have experienced a profound awareness of God’s power working in my life as well as His perfect timing, as He has recently answered a prayer I have prayed since childhood. And it has me, too, praising, “The Lord has done this for me!”

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      Wonderful, Nicole. Imagine if we could say those same words about everything that comes our way, seeing each one as 1) from God’s hand and therefore 2) for our good. Wow!

      • Carol November 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

        I love your words, “How good the Lord is to me!” With Thanksgiving approaching and being able to be around the table with one-third of my family and friends…I say, “How good the Lord is to me!”

  2. Heike McDoniel November 20, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    I loved your post. As it is the time to be silent and am personally thinking about taking a break and shhhhhh be very silent. Just listen and meditate on God. When we are silent we discover that our busyness is hurting and we miss God talking to us.

    I read this earlier and thought you might like to enjoy it:

    This is a solitary walk. This abiding place in Me is completely removed from the multitude; yea, it is a place to be shared with no other – not even thy dearest friend. This knowing Me in secret is an experience alien to the world. This union with Me is the source of thy life, of thy strength, of thy health and vitality. Nothing can substitute.
    Prayer is good, but prayer cannot substitute for solitary communion. Fellowship is good, but it is not the source of Life. Life is in Me, and I can give it to thee only in the solitary relationship. Seek that place in Me where no other can intrude. Thou wilt find Me there, and in finding Me thus, ye shall discover all other lacks fulfilled, for in Me there is abundant Life, and with Me there are only joys, and this forever.

    ~Come Away My Beloved

    • Susan Ireland November 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      @Heike McDaniel — I was teary eyed reading this – for me it would be a personal relationship with the Lord — I loved it. Thank you for sharing

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      LOVE that book and so appreciate you sharing those encouraging words here, Heike.

  3. Tammy November 20, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Matbe we should think about a talking “fast”. Hmmm that would be hard but worth the time to quiet our minds and focus on Him.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      Great idea, Tammy. Guess that would count talking to yourself aloud when you think no one can hear you…

  4. Alisha Brazeau November 20, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    The biggest thing that stood out to my in Chapter Two is how Elizabeth gave everything to the Lord. She trusted him and believed that he was active in her life even while she waited for the gift of a child all the while not evening knowing if she would ever be Blessed in that way. She didn’t feel sorry for herself, or ask why Lord would you do this to me. She just waited, kept praying and living her life for Him. It amazes me because just this morning I thought as I was balancing the check book “Why can’t I just catch a break… I work work work and it’s never enough” But in all reality, it IS enough because HE is in control! I clearly need to remind myself of this as I worry about daily struggles, especially finances. Elizabehts dedication to the Lord if amazing to me and hits me in all the right ways. Being silent for a day… Hmmm… I think that I could benefit big time. I tend to speak too quickly before really thinking about what Im about to say… Ahhh the gift I’ ve been given! 😉 My biggest wonder would be how would it effect me as a mother, I sometimes don’t give my girls enough time to say what they are wanting to say because I already know what they want. I think I would learn that they can say ALOT more if I couldn’t talk versus trying to calm them and help them say what they want. My favorite part in this chapter…. I LOVE it…… “Despite the doubts she must have faced through the years, Elizabeth gave her all, and the Lord gave her a blessing beyond belief.” Did he ever…. oh YES he did. So powerful and holds so much meaning and truth.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      I really appreciate you sharing your struggles with us, Alisha, and in the process helping us address our own.

  5. Kathy Easterday November 20, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I think that when the two could not speak, God blessed them with touch that they could not really argue, but be kind and use their senses to communicate. Expecting a child with all the blessings of The Lord gave them many times to reflect on the miracle that was taking place!

    • Shellynne November 20, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Kathy, along those same lines…I know a wonderful godly couple where the wife is deaf and the husband is blind. They have been happily married over 30 years. When asked how they do it, he replies: “It works out great. When she is mad and ‘yells’ at me I can’t see her, and when I yell at her she can’t hear me. So we never argue!”

      • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

        Right you are, Kathy. And Shellynne, that is just BRILLIANT!

  6. Shellynne November 20, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    this chapter reminded me again that our God is a God of miracles to accomplish His purposes. I sat and considered your thoughts on how much can be communicated in the silence. My husband is a very quiet person and recently we went on a day trip steam train ride. I made the choice to give him the gift of silence- so he would not have to work at listening or talking, we could just ‘be’ together. We sat in silence most of the 4 hours but so much was communicated! He was totally relaxed and we soaked in the experience and time together.Sometimes it is hard to accept that the world can do without my sage words for a day! 🙂 I understand better how precious those ‘silent’ months for Zechariah and Elizabeth might have been. But I also know that on the tough days, I long just to hear the sound of my husband’s voice. There surely was also some heartache during the silence.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      I can just imagine that train ride. The silence of contentment. And yes, nothing is more comforting than my husband’s voice. I still get a thrill when I hear his voice on the phone (and we’ve been married 27 years!).

  7. Julie Sunne November 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I believe I would discover who my God is in a greater sense without all the distractions of ME–and I’m referring to more than just my words here.

    “Listen, beloved: God is not limited by our faith, nor hampered by the lack of it. Even if we don’t believe the promises written in God’s Word, they will still “come true at their appointed time” (Luke 1:20).
    That’s what God was communicating to Zechariah back then, and to us right now.
    You are not in charge. I am.”
    Wow, I have learned this truth in amazing ways over the years. God sends us proof of His love, compassion, and sovereignty all the time. We often tend to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to it–what a shame.
    Another lovely and powerful study, Liz.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks for picking up on that point, Julie. When I typed those sentences in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, I was discovering that truth even as I was typing it! Tears filled my eyes, and I had to stop and blow my nose. God is SO kind to keep teaching, keep guiding, keep revealing himself to us. Praise him!

  8. Lisa November 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I was most struck not only by the patience Elizabeth maintained throughout the years, but the faith and love for God she had even before knowing she would ever be blessed with a child. We can all have faith when God answers our prayers how we want him to. The true test comes when he seems not to answer them (which He always does) or answers them in a way not pleasing to us. Elizabeth must have felt for years that the latter was true. Yet, she continued in her faith and ended up blessed beyond human understanding.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Great truth, Lisa. Thanks for sharing with your sisters here.

  9. Marie November 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Just amazing!! I have always shared with family and friends through the years, that as we get older we become more wiser!! Elizabeth has shown to me the true beauty of Gods work within. It really shows us that patients will give us that ultimate wish by trusting God. Listening- well, it has made a difference in my life, even more so now that I am past the 40’s!! Thank you Lisa for my book, and thank you Liz for this wonderful Bible Study!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      I’m hanging on to that promise about getting older / getting wiser, Marie! :>))

  10. Susan Ireland November 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Thank you Liz for everything , Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Jesus- I read all the post and wow so good. Elizabeth must have wanted to talk so bad. But sometime silence is bliss, maybe she was afraid that she would have to listen to her friends ask to many questions. She loved her husband , she honored him buy keeping quiet along side her husband – I think they had waited so long for a child they just loved on each other in their quiet way with hand gestures — smiles , tears and Love — we will know when we go to heaven – smiles

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Indeed, we can’t know how they spent those early months in seclusion, but we do get a sense that it was a good and beneficial silence. When Elizabeth emerges, she speaks God’s name with gratitude. And you’ll see when we get to the birth of John, Zechariah praises God too.

  11. Linda Weems November 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    If the Lord silenced me for a day,I am sure I would be able to hear from Him and learn a lot.

  12. Beth Southwick November 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    I don’t have the book, so this may be addressed in coming weeks. But when it came time to name the baby, first Elizabeth says, “His name is John.” and then they sign to the father and he writes, “His name is John.” Elizabeth could only have gotten that information from Zechariah. So probably she could read and he could write. There was some communication going on. But it was definitely much slower than verbal communication is. Words leave the mouth so much quicker than they would leave the pen or stylus or whatever it was they wrote with. So much quicker. What does James say? Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. If I were silenced for a day, I would do a lot more hearing!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Absolutely, Beth, they would have communicated with a wax tablet. Short of wearing one around my neck, I doubt I’d have one handy for every word I’d want to speak. So yes, writing rather than speaking slowed things down between them, but clearly in a good way, by the time all was (finally!) said and done.

  13. Beth S. November 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    A few days ago I “shared” something on FB that hit me again when I read Chapter 2 tonight.

    “Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.”

    When I first read this, my interpretation was focused on the negative connotation of the word ‘waste.’ I was reading it as rather condescending, the person being not worth my time or energy to engage in conversation. However, after easing Chapter 2 my perception has changed.

    The people who deserve my silence are those whom I can honor by listening to them. As Alisha wrote in an earlier post, she feels she doesn’t give her girls the time to listen to them. Sometimes I feel that what I have to say is more important for someone else to hear than it is for me to listen to what they say. Maybe it is because I am a teacher and have the role of instructior..I am the one who is supposed to know…and teach others. But I really need to listen, not to waste the words on those who don’t really want to hear them, only to have those words evaporate without any type of connection.

    He second sentence in that quote is powerful. The best gift I can give my husband, my daughters, my sons-in-law, my grandsons, my friends, my colleagues, my students… to really listen to them and show that I am by my silence.

    At my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary party, my daughters sang the song with the line “you say it best when you say nothing at all.” We joked at the time that dad was always so quiet because he couldn’t get a word in edgewise because Mom talked constantly…lots of truth in that. She still talks constantly, not listening to anyone around her to the point of confusing information told her. I don’t want to be like that.

    Thank you, Elizabeth ( which is my given name, by the way) , for the message spoken through your silence and your honor of your husband. Thank you, Liz, for sharing this story with us during the most special and glorious season the the year. The best gift I can give to my family and others around me will be the gift of silence.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      You ARE a teacher, Beth, because you’ve taught me something valuable today, and our other sisters here as well. THANKS for walking us through these truths. (And I don’t want to be like that either, talking constantly and never listening. Please help, Lord!)

  14. Linda H November 21, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I’m awestruck by the statement that “God’s promises will always come true at the appointed time with or without our belief and faith” God is and always will be in charge!!
    To give God the glory in everything as Elizabeth did changes our attitude and our outlook on life. Oh what joy will fill my soul. I talk alot about what I should do but many times it is all talk, To be silent for a day would help me do the things I know I should do, focusing on my Lord, my world around and all I am missing. I am sure others would see God’s glory on my face!! Love the powerful messages coming out of these short chapters. Thank you Liz, you are one of God’ s gems!!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      “All talk.” Convicted! But (thank you, Lord) not condemned.

  15. joanna mclaughlin November 21, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    God took away not only her barrenness, but also her heartache, her sorrow and her shame. Never having a child and always wanting one, I understand the heartache, sorrow and shame. I am 64 now and too old for a baby. Can’t God take away the heartache, sorrow and shame without the child. Or do I carry this for the rest of my life.
    I live alone, so I have quiet days. But even in my quietness I sometimes fear what God will have to say. So sometimes I don’t listen.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Bless you for your honest admission, Joanna. Yes, God can definitely take away the heartache, sorrow, and shame, when we’re truly ready to let go of them. What he gives us in their place is himself. His love. His peace. His freedom. Praying for you, dear sister. Hoping you will hear the words of Gabriel, “Fear not…”

    • Laura November 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

      Joanna, praying for you. We struggled with some infertility issues before our first child was born and again before the second, and I have tried to keep a sensitivity to those whose prayers have not yet been answered or whose prayers were answered in a different way than mine were. My thoughts have turned to you and others like you participating in this study with its focus on Elizabeth’s pregnancy. We don’t always understand, but I pray you and the others know you are surrounded by His love even through the pain. In last week’s blog, several posts quoted Liz’s book, “God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is fully depleted,” an echo of Christ’s words to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I know I wanted God to just take away my “weakness”–my continued heartache over infertility, but I’m learning he wants us to walk through any difficulty depending on him and his strength. If he just took away our weaknesses, we wouldn’t need him or have the relationship with him that develops through the heartache and longing. May this favorite verse from Zephaniah 3:17 help you find peace in God’s love, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

    • Missa December 1, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Joanna, I understand this pain! Liz is right…you have to be ready to let go of the heartache, sorrow, shame…all of it, before God can truly remove it. When it comes back to find you (and it will because that’s how the enemy works!), you have to again present it to God and let go. He is faithful to banish it again as needed. When the enemy lies to you and tells you that you are not worthy for whatever reason, all the Spirit of God in you to tell him to take a seat and hush up. Praying for you, dear sister. Would that we were all so transparent.

  16. Tammy November 21, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I am loving this study so far. Thank you Liz for using your gifts to flesh out these wonderful women.
    I am inspired and challenged by Elizabeth’s silence. I can tend to over communicate and can’t imagine keeping to myself for five months such happy news!
    If God silenced me for a day, I hope I would be a better listener. So often we are so focused on being heard that we fail to listen. I am so guilty in this area. I want to learn to hear from The Lord more clearly and to be more sensitive to those around me.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      As you can see from the previous posts, Tammy, we have LOTS of company! Be encouraged that you are not alone.

  17. mary p November 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    My husband is not a big talker…one time on a 1 1/2 hour trip, I decided I would not talk until he did. Did I make it? Absolutely not! I think it would take more than a day of silence for me to listen and learn. It would probably be a wonderful and needed lesson though! Maybe I’ll try it…Thanks Liz!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      As they say, one day at a time, Mary. I’ll need to warn everyone in advance, or they’ll decide I’m mad about something!

  18. Janice Newlin November 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    I also have been praying for a few years for something special to happen within my
    extended familly and this Thanksgving it will happen I will not be there to experience
    the joy, but all of those involved will be breaking bread together, Just as Elizabeth
    prayed God answered her I Want to thank god for this miracle. Happy Thanksgiving

  19. Pam Friedler November 22, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    God actually has made me stop and be very still as I had facial surgery on Monday Nov.18th. I had purchased this Bible study in anticipation of having to be still, little did I know how God would speak so sweetly to me in the time of pain and recovery. Time… set aside by God for me with Him, what an amazing Christmas gift.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      So good. He is just SO GOOD. Hope you are healing nicely, Pam.

  20. Norma November 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    This struck me, as many others have written, that I don’t always take the time to listen to others. I am going to try to be more like Elizabeth, especially when it comes to my grandson. I am always telling him to be a better listener. Just last night when I was trying to get him to go to bed, I kept urging him to get in bed. He finally burst out, as he has done more frequently lately, “But Grammy, you’re not listening to me!” I am going to “put on my ears” and listen more.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      From the mouths of babes, eh? How good the Lord is, to teach us through those we love most.

  21. Angela November 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    First I want to say that I can’t believe you answered all of those comments! Gosh I feel bad because I don’t get even half of what’s on here and it is difficult for me to get to them all.

    Next, I want to say that I’m glad I found you! I watched you over at Ann’s yesterday and love you! What a blessing for you to go through your book like this with your readers! I love that too! Of course, now I want to go and get your book 🙂

    All right, now, getting to the question you asked:

    1. What stood out to me {based on your blog post ’cause I don’t have the book} is the fact that God would allow this silence with something so important and big happening in their lives. This was a big to do! Elisabeth was pregnant in her old age, seems like she would have needed the reassuring words from her husband. If he couldn’t hear either that makes it even worse! So how could they enjoy the pregnancy… the gift with this between them?

    If God silenced me for a day, in the twinkling of an eye my prayer life would change!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Welcome, Angela! So glad you enjoyed Christmas at the Farm. It was a HUGE blessing to be with Ann Voskamp, and a joy to teach about Mary. As for Elizabeth, you are so right: it was a challenging time to not have your husband’s words of comfort and assurance. Ah, but she had the Lord himself to comfort her, and his Word to assure her. It must have been a deeply moving season of growth, in more ways than one.

      Love your statement about how our prayer lives would change “in the twinkling of an eye” if we could not speak. So true!

  22. Tina Cho November 24, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    I just discovered You, your book, and blog by watching Christmas at the Farm with Ann V. I enjoyed it immensely! What a great post and insight about the quietness their relationship took on. I never thought of that aspect before. Thanks so much!

  23. Susan Gruener November 24, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I have been there too Liz, with the laryngitis. Oh how the man loves to make jokes about that one…when the woman can’t talk! But I would like at least a month of him with laryngitis. 🙂 For the past several years (we’ve been married 39) he has been quite an angry and uncommunicative person. All it takes for me to say the wrong word or response for him to get angry… Hmmm… maybe this should be my next prayer. 🙂
    Love all your writings Liz!

  24. Robin November 25, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    When I was reading the chapter in the book, two particular ideas hit me: The first and most important was “The loss of speech wasn’t punishment; it was the proof Zechariah had asked for, the assurance of God’s power” (p. 26). I am kind of surprised at how easily I jump to the conclusion that this was retribution for questioning rather than an answer to an honest question. The second was the proposition that perhaps he was also deaf during this period. This option had not occurred to me; I just thought people were gesturing like I’ve heard they do sometimes even now when communicating with someone who cannot talk. Then, on the blog posting above, the statement, “… volatile emotions could easily stay locked inside, and frustration might look more like anger building into rage, without any words of explanation to smooth hurt feelings” prompted me to think–how prone I am to jump to assumptions and attribute feelings/intentions/etc. to others. Recently when I am tempted to do this, I try to step back & truly assess the situation and the facts. On being silent, I sometimes try to practice quietness and being at peace with self rather than just filling up the atmosphere with noise. This dates me, but I remember an episode of NORTHERN EXPOSURE when Joel’s mother finally was quiet and at peace with herself rather than her usual nagging, talkative self. How many of us have a tendency to chatter & prattle on when uncomfortable in a situation?

  25. Reeda Francis November 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    It seems as if all of us could learn something from Elisabeths story—I certainly have…Thanks Liz for this study.

  26. Lynn Guthrie November 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I don’t see the link for chapter 1. Sorry-

  27. Karen Bousquet November 28, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Catching up!! Blessed again by this book, the study that follows each chapter and all the comments. LOVE God so much and His servants like Liz!! Blessings to all of you!! I have been encouraged again as God has been speaking to me about my “motor mouth”! I too have a husband who does not talk to me much so when I get into adult company I tend to say too much and listen little!! I also know that His timing is perfect and am learning to “be still and know that He is God” (again) !! Happy Thanksgiving to all the wonderful women of God in the U.S.!!

  28. Lisa November 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    As I sit here today and reflect on all that the Lord has provided for me in this past year, my heart is humbled and I sit in amazement. When I truly decided to turn every part of my life over to the Lord, amazing things have happened and my life has been restored from the depths of despair to having everything that I need. This year has truly been a shining example of trusting 110% in the Lord and knowing that he does what he says he is going to do always! Praise be to God!!

  29. Tonya November 29, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    I love the quote on page 30…”Then this happened. Just as God said it would. What we call miraculous God calls business as usual. ” That is so true! I love how God amazes me with “miraculous” just to show me He is in control! When I pray in faith that my boys will grow to love and serve God I am only praying God’s “business as usual” because that is His will for all of His children. Why am I amazed when I see glimpses of answered prayer? Because God delights in pleasing me and reminding me that He alone is God! Nothing I do or SAY can change that. Oh sweet Jesus….You are so good to us.

  30. Missa December 1, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I, the original talker & communicator, have been married for 11 years to a man who is NOT a talker in the mornings. He is a DEAR wonderful man…and so totally the man God chose for me and I LOVE HIM. However, he’s pretty quiet most of the time and especially in the mornings he requires complete silence. It has taken me all these years to adjust to that and I’m not all the way there yet. There are moments that I see him gaze longingly at the remote and then glance meaningfully at me. Reading through the study and through all of these comments, it struck me that maybe God wishes I’d be quiet more often as well. Swallowing hard and chewing on that thought for a while….

  31. Christy December 3, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Studying Elizabeth has been powerful for me these last few weeks. God has reminded me that His timing is perfect and that His plan will be done. I feel like I am getting back my hope, which I had lost over this past year. My husband and I have not been able to have children after 10 years and have been trying to adopt and haven’t had any luck for three years into that process. God’s Presence as I have sat and read these Scriptures and book has been overwhelming. Praise God for His wonderful Word and His amazing grace!

  32. Phylis Trautmann December 3, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    God is not limited by our faith, nor hampered by the lack of it. Even if we do not believe the promises written in God’s Word, they will still “come true at their appointed time”. (Luke 1:20) While in my quiet time with God this morning studying “Women of Christmas”, I received the word from God. Such a Joy to my Soul this morning.

  33. Sheila December 4, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Silence. A beautiful word. I believe it is the thing I need more than anything else. In one of my recent OBS studies it was mentioned to just sit or kneel in silence to await God’s word. To be honest, I haven’t fulfilled that desired obligation like I thought. I do love silent time, reading time, “not being connected” electronically to the outside world. To rid your mind of all that static and leave time and room for God to speak. …an awesome goal. I truly believe God gave that to Zachariah in order for him to believe His word, trust in him and fully meditate and understand what was happening. Silence can be a blessed event. Now I need to work on the discipline to create that time.

  34. Deborah W December 4, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    For nearly two years God has been telling this 60 year old to ” Be Still….. and KNOW….” There are days He tells me to ‘just’ sit and ” Be Still” to ” Be Quiet” to ” Be Aware”.. ” Too Take in ALL He has done, is doing..” I still am not sure exactly where we are going w all this but I am learning the ‘Gift’ of attempting to “Be Still” and quiet and to ” Know”…

  35. Nidya December 9, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I ama amazed on Elisabeth responsé. I am not like that. I am loud. Talk to much! I Want to be like Elisabeth. Be still. Enjoy the moments And the blessings the lord has giving me I Dont have to be noticed or Shari everything with my friends. I Want to enjoy him alone with my family at Home moré