My friend Stephanie said something to me last summer that struck me:
“Anna was married and never had children, and she had a happy life.”
It almost made me laugh when Stephanie said it, my delight was so immediate. To think that I had been writing about barrenness all of these years and never once considered the prophetess Anna!
Luke doesn’t specifically tell us in his Gospel whether or not Anna was barren, but he does tell us that her husband died after seven, short years of marriage and that Anna lived as a widow for the next eighty-four. Luke also never mentions any children born to take care of Anna in her old age but that she “did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day” (Luke 2:37). It is easy to assume she was never given the gift of children.
But do you know what Anna was given? She was given the opportunity to pray and wait on the LORD for the redemption of Jerusalem, and – Wonder of wonders! – she got to behold that very redemption in the flesh. She got to see Jesus!
Isn’t that beautiful?
You, my dear barren sisters, have been given the opportunity to fast and pray night and day, and – Wonder of wonders! – you get to see Jesus in the temple, too.