If you didn’t read Part One, you must before reading this post!
When we look at our lives through the lens of Scripture, we can make sense of our situations. Romans 15:4 states:
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
As I considered the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, I discovered many similarities between their episode and my own life:
- I prayed diligently for God to intervene and resurrect a part of my life (Sorry, no details. Use your imagination!)
- When this seemed improbable and utterly hopeless, I quit asking the Lord to move in my situation.
- I resigned myself to a life of barrenness (not literally – I have seven children!).
- God spoke to me through Isaiah 43:19 in January (and with this verse many times since) to say He would answer my prayer this year.
- More bitterness, resentment, and anger toward the Lord erupted than I would have thought possible. “Now??? At my age??? Thanks a lot!”
- Further, I didn’t believe what He said.
Interestingly enough, by this time, I’d found myself without a “voice.”
- Every ministry I’d been involved in came to a close (except for Lessons by Heart).
- I had nothing to write that was uplifting, encouraging, or even something with which to exhort others, which explains my few posts.
- We were at a new church, with few people whom we knew. I had no one to spew on!
- Music was silenced as well – very rare for me.
- Our circumstances were such that I couldn’t ‘process’ with the Lord in my customary way. It had to be done silently.
His timing was everything:
- Much inner healing needed to take place in me before I would be ready for what He is currently doing.
- I needed a preparation time; opportunities to practice the necessary skills in order to handle what was coming. This was done through our guest, and was what I suspected, as I wrote in Stupid Distractions.
- My identity in Christ needed to be solid, or I would have self-destructed.
It would appear, then, that I am in labor…a messy process. At the end of all this is the delivery of a promised child. What it will look like is yet to be seen, but at last – and because of this story – I have hope.
His promise to me?
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
Sadly, I had a lot to work through with the Lord when He made this proclamation. It took several months to get to the place where I believed again:
God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Don’t know the ‘due date,’ but I am, at last, rejoicing in the upcoming delivery!
While Zechariah may have been unaware of what lurked in his heart, God wasn’t. It would seem that when He briefed Gabriel, their conversation might have been:
“Gabe, I need you to go tell Zechariah that he and Elizabeth are going to have a baby.”
“A baby? That’s…well…great. Hey, didn’t they quit asking for one years ago?”
“Yeah, but the time has come. He’s not going to be as excited as you might expect.”
“At his age, shocked might be more along the lines of expected responses.”
“Well, Zechariah and I have some things to sort out. His first reaction will be to question Me. You need to shut that down. We don’t want his issues with me to take the shine off Elizabeth’s joy.”
“How shall I do that?”
“Well, let him know that he won’t be talking to anyone until after their child is born. That will give us enough time to work things out.”
You see, although Zechariah had been offended by God, yet God called him and Elizabeth righteous and blameless. God understood the why of Zechariah’s reaction. It was time to address the matter. In other words, God does not hold our offenses toward Him against us, but continues to pursue and woo us.
He’s been doing this with me again. (And I thought I was through believing lies about Him. 😦 )
He loves us with an everlasting love. That amazes me.
Despite Zechariah’s lack of faith, God was faithful and answered their prayers at the right time. His delay went way beyond giving a couple a sweet little baby. He had something very special in mind for them all.
With God, timing is everything. He knows far more about what’s needed and precisely when. For this couple, having John so late in life was actually an act of mercy toward them. They would be spared the horror and pain of John’s untimely death. Instead, they would be there to greet their son when he slipped through the veil between this life and the next one.
This has been a lesson learned – even after I knew it all!!
His patience and lovingkindness overwhelm me. Concerning the issue at hand, I have been faithless. I gave up asking Him to act a few years ago…figured I’d have to wait until heaven for relief.
I doubted His goodness and His love for me. I didn’t realize how confused my understanding of Him had become. While I can state with conviction that you are loved by Him with an unending, deep, and passionate love, I’ve believed this didn’t apply to me.
In His perfect timing, He brought these things to light so we can get them settled. I am soothed by His gentleness as He tends to these wounds in my heart. Truth is the balm He uses to heal what was so diseased.
I wonder, what have you learned about your own life as you look through the eyes of Scripture? I’d love to hear about your lessons!