But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”
(Luke 1:13-14, New Living Translation)
Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
(Malachi 3:1, English Standard Version)
Think of the last time you had to wait for something. How did you respond to the situation?
By the time of the events in Luke 1, God’s people had been waiting for a message from Him for over 400 difficult years. The final words the Lord spoke to them in Malachi were full of warning, but also came with a promise of the Messiah to come. This promise, as well as stories of God’s faithfulness, gave the people hope in their waiting. The Messiah would come in an unexpected way, but before He arrived, someone else would come (Malachi 3:1).
Zechariah and Elizabeth had prayed for a child for many years. Finally, confirmation came that God had heard their prayer. But in their waiting, Zechariah grew weary. He allowed circumstances to distract him from God’s promise.
But Zechariah’s lack of patience did not stop the Lord from fulfilling His promise. God provided for the couple in a way they did not expect — by blessing them with the great honor of becoming an integral part of His redemptive plan. Their son, John, would make way for and help prepare people’s hearts for the Messiah’s arrival.
As much as I would love to relate to Mary and her joyful, faith-filled response to the angel in Luke 1:38, I often lean more toward Zechariah’s response of unbelief. Cynicism steals my belief that God desires good things for me as I wait. Instead of waiting with joyful expectancy, I can allow doubt to rob my joy and my ability to receive the good that God is offering.
The coming of the Messiah invites you to place your hope and trust in the Lord because He is good and faithful. He may not always answer in the way you prefer, but you can be sure that He hears and answers your prayers in ways that ultimately work together for your good and His glory.
In seasons of waiting, what misconceptions about God keep you from believing that He’s still working in the world and in you?
What do you know about God that allows you to wait on Him?
Lord, reveal the misconceptions I have about You. Where am I not believing the truth about You? Help me to meditate on what is true. Please give me faith to trust You.
Brandie Alvarez was born and raised in Southern California. She currently works with the ministry of Destino®, a Christ-centered movement aimed to empower and raise up a generation of Hispanic and Latino students. She enjoys traveling, finding new coffee shops and going to the beach.
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