This morning I was reading in Luke chapter 1 about when Gabriel, the angel, visits Zechariah and tells him that his wife Elizabeth is going to have a son. Naturally, being that good ol’ Zechariah was as old as the hills, he was skeptical, to say the least. I don’t know how old he and Elizabeth were, but the version I read said “they were very old”; if the bible says you’re very old…you’re old!
I guess Gabriel didn’t like it too much when Zechariah was skeptical, so he told him he wouldn’t be able to speak until after the baby was born. Elizabeth just received a double blessing! A baby, after years of being barren and a nice, quiet pregnancy! “Oh, I’m sorry Zechariah, what’s that? I didn’t hear you say you were hungry.”
These days, God doesn’t send Gabriel here to give us a message, He speaks to us by His Holy Spirit. For one thing, if we told people an angel appeared to us and told us something these days, we’d be locked in the looney bin! But in a lot of ways, wouldn’t it be so much easier if He did send an angel, or at least a burning bush? Something! Anything!
Sometimes it’s so hard to know, for sure, if its God telling me to do something, or if its something I’ve conjured up in my mind. Am I the only one who struggles with this?
That being said, I wonder how much we suffer because of unbelief? I mean, it was made clear for Zechariah, because Gabriel told him so, but what about us? What suffering have we brought on ourselves because we either refused to listen, we have too much doubt, we’re afraid to believe, or we never stay still and quiet long enough to hear God’s voice? The bible’s pretty clear that we’ll suffer, but I’m pretty sure that we bring on some avoidable suffering, simply by not listening.
Fortunately Zechariah and Elizabeth were godly and obedient. I can think of a few people, myself included, who would say “Seriously God? I’ve wanted a child all these years and now that I’m so old I have to have my food pre-chewed, you say you’re giving us a child?!? I’ll show You! I’m not having sex! Take that God!” News flash! God doesn’t ‘take that’! When we don’t trust God enough to believe, we’re the ones who lose. God will find someone who’s willing.
Because Z and E were willing and obedient, they got to be the proud parents of John the Baptist! He was a pretty important guy! They didn’t even care that, everywhere they went, someone asked them if he was their grandson!
It’s hard sometimes to believe God, especially for big things, but God’s still the same today as He was then, and He’s still in the miracle working business! We’ve all got big things in our lives. Many have lost loved ones and prodigals. Some may be lonely or depressed. Some are living the nightmare of infertility, there’s sickness and death, financial troubles, marital problems, addictions, you name it, people are suffering in many different ways. We can trust God with ANY situation, the thing is, just like with Zechariah and Elizabeth, God’s timing might not match up with ours!
Here’s the thing, I don’t want God to take my voice because of unbelief, so I’m going to try and do better! Some of you may wish otherwise, but too bad! 🙂 And don’t start thinking that every little bad thing that happens is because you don’t have enough faith! Geez. Let’s just all try to do better at trusting an unwavering, faithful, deserving God!
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 ESV