“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zachariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: ‘do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord'” (Luke 1:11-14).
As the Christmas season has drawn closed I am still drawn to the scriptures leading up to our Saviors birth. I love how every time I read it God enlightens me to a new viewpoint.
On this day He has shown me a simple truth about fear, and the choice I can make to walk in His grace when life is not what I expected it to be. As I read about Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, I pondered the words “gripped with fear” imagining Zechariah’s reaction while in the temple as he served; then to hear the news of a child, at such an elderly age!
Certainly not what he’d planned; what about retirement; what about his wife, her health, how would she do it? How would they care for a small one at their advanced years? So many thoughts flashing internally!
We can sense all this turmoil with his reply, in verse 18, when he questions Gabriel. To his dismay, he’s then struck mute, until the birth of His son, for questioning the Lord.
When He returns home Elizabeth does become pregnant. However her reaction is totally opposite of her husband, she is overjoyed at the promise of carrying new life; she’s elated at the grace that God has bestowed upon her; the shame of childlessness is removed.
Two reactions to the same life changing event; in the end we know of course Zach became a proud papa; but how often do I/we too react in fear, questioning the unexpected changes in our lives, especially when it deals with our health, finances, or family, Reacting in fear instead of trust in God. Today may we choose Beth’s way; joy in all circumstances; trust; walking in grace.
Prayer: Father, thank You for always showing us new viewpoints, and encouraging us to trust You completely, even when life doesn’t follow the plan we believe it should go. Help us choose not to be afraid but to walk in hope with You by our side. Amen.
What is your first reaction to life changes; Fear or Trust? Do you have a story you can share when God allowed you to see the truth of His plan, and how not to fear but to trust Him? Please be an encourager today as Elizabeth is for us in the Word. Share!
About the author:
Diane Kalata, lives in Central Florida, she is blessed to have a wonderful husband, who is also her caregiver in illness, three grown children, and 3 grandchildren! She is a cancer survivor, but continues to deal with chronic digestive and neuropathic issues. She loves art and writing. Her desire is to continually be an encouragement to others; looking daily for those “God opportunities” to share His love and truth with others.
If you are reading this, odds are life is different than you had planned. How do you continue to remain hopeful and depend on God’s faithfulness when your expectations are unmet?
This is Mark Schultz singing “I’ve Been There.” It’s a beautiful song filled with the experiences we have in this life–both the good and the hard ones–and how God makes it all worthwhile for us. Whatever we are going through, whatever you are facing today–bills, worsening health, broken relationships–Jesus has been there. And He is here for us now. (And yeah, this video gave me both goosebumps and a few tears.) -Lisa