After infertility and aging left Elizabeth resigned to childlessness, she miraculously conceived. But rather than announce this blessing, she withdrew for five months of seclusion. Why did she hide herself instead of sharing this good news?
24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
Perhaps God honored Elisabeth’s need for private processing of her impossible pregnancy. She had long endured the cultural shame of barrenness. Pregnancy now required deep personal and spiritual adjustments, best navigated alone with God.
Elisabeth’s physical seclusion reflects a withdrawal into deeper soul places with the Divine. She treasured the miracle within, turning inward to strengthen its seed in silence. There God met her and lifted her reproach.
Seeking solitude to digest life-altering news is wise. By withdrawing from others we give ourselves space for soul care. We quiet outer voices to hear God’s whisper.
Rather than immediately posting our news on instagram for quick reactions, we might do well to consider the example of Elisabeth and retreat with hopes and dreams for a season of introspection. There God prepares us for the public path ahead while we nourish miracles in the womb of privacy.
Elisabeth emerged after five months ready to help usher in God’s promises. Her time alone had attuned her to godly purpose. We too need spiritual incubation out of the spotlight. Our souls sometimes grow best in the quiet fertility of obscurity.