As I poured out my plea again in the middle of the night with tears on my pillow and a heart full of fear, rereading this verse in the Christmas story brought a healing balm to my soul.
Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and….
Zechariah sought the LORD for a miracle. He and his barren wife begged God for a baby. He sought God with big, bold prayers. As the years ticked by and their home seemed to grow more silent, maybe Zechariah feared over his wife Elizabeth’s despair. Maybe he worried over who would care for them as they grew older. We don’t know what he feared exactly, but something in their circumstances led Zechariah to wonder how they would endure without divine intervention.
Have you ever been there, friend? Do you need God to move in a big way too?
God answered his prayer and Elizabeth became miraculously pregnant. We are told that she remained in seclusion saying, “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” (Luke 1:25 NLT)
But before she experienced God’s kindness she endured disgrace from other people. They criticized her, judged her, and reproached her for her barrenness. They reasoned that she must have done something wrong to be stricken by God in such a way. But her season of suffering was to showcase her great blessing. For she would birth the one of whom Jesus said, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John;” Luke 7:28.
Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. But even more importantly she would mentor one who would also suffer disgrace among her people. And Elizabeth’s scars would become sacred as she ministered to a young Mary wondering what it would mean to carry the Son of God.
Dearest one, while you beg for a miracle, borrow this promise from Gabriel to Zechariah:
Do not be afraid, God has heard your prayer and…
And also cling to this joyous exclamation from Elizabeth: Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the LORD!
God knows I need a miracle. He knows you need one too. And while we may be called to endure a season of disgrace, we will receive God’s kindness in due season.
You are not alone, and you are so deeply loved,
Waiting on Him together,
Today’s devotional reading comes from my study Unexplainable Jesus: Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew available for purchase in special tee-shirt and Journal bundles just in time for Christmas! Do you know someone waiting on a miracle from God? Consider gifting them with the reminder of hope through this study.