Christmas and waiting
Have you ever felt like a prayer has gone unanswered? It seems like you pray and pray, but God isn’t really budging on giving an answer. Sometimes that’s because we don’t understand how He is answering. And sometimes it is because the answer isn’t really the one we were looking for so we either don’t accept it or else we miss it entirely. And then there are other times, when there really is no answer at all, just silence. Kind of like God is having us wait.
Zechariah was a servant of God and a priest. He had been married to Elizabeth for a very long time and they were now old. They had never been blessed with a child and I believe that was their heart’s desire. Why do I say this? In the book of Luke, chapter 1 and verse 13, when Gabriel the angel is sent by God to deliver a message to Zechariah, he says, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son.” Those are comforting words, especially to a family whose heart’s longed for something that they could not have.
God wasn’t asking them to wait because He was being a maniac or that He was wanting to hurt them. His upper story plan had to take place and He was saying, “Zechariah, you have an important part to play in My plan. I’m asking you to wait, well beyond your years of being able to do something on your own, for Me to answer your prayer. I will work in mighty ways for I AM faithful.” Even though Zechariah doubted the words of Gabriel from God, nine months later, we see that God was truly faithful and the promised son was born.
Israel had been waiting and praying for 400 years during this time and God seemed to be silent. It’s not that He didn’t answer because He was making a point or wanting to make them pay for rejecting Him. No, He was giving time for men’s and women’s hearts to be prepared to receive the Promised Savior. And the Good News burst forth proclaiming His faithfulness after so many years of quiet. As you are going through this Christmas season, you might be wondering where God is and why He is silent. Maybe He is saying, “Wait my child. There is hope on the horizon. I will work in mighty ways for I AM faithful.”
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