Today’s Reading: Luke 1:18-19 NIV
Meet Zechariah, a hard working man, a preacher (Priest) who served the Lord. He and his wife had devoted themselves to doing what was good and right. Even though they came from a long line of people who followed God, life was not working out as planned. They were getting older and the one prayer they had prayed so fervently, had never been answered. They were without a child.
Have you ever felt like Zechariah? Do you ever struggle with feeling like God isn’t listening or paying attention to the details of your life? Are you disappointed, feeling like your prayers have not been answered? Have you felt unseen or unheard, desperate with questions of why? There have been many times this year I have found myself feeling the same way. Even though I was trying to be faithful, to keep doing what was right and good, my soul was weary and God’s presence felt far away.
I imagine Zechariah and Elizabeth could have felt each of these emotions, too. Yet, suddenly in the middle of his tasks, an angel appears to Zechariah and says, “Don’t be afraid.” Isn’t that just like God? So unexpected and in the nick of time. Just when you feel worn out and life is too heavy, His powerful presence surrounds you. Right in the middle of your questions, doubt, and despair, He shows up.
This year has had many disappointments. There have been days when the news has NOT been good. Everyday life has felt hard and complicated. The story of Zechariah brings comfort to us as we struggle with grief and disappointment. Just as the Angel declared thousands of years ago, don’t be afraid, the story isn’t over.
Today, during this Advent season, God wants to remind us that His presence is with us, here in the hard and unplanned. Will you stop and allow His presence to surround you? Will you choose to not be afraid? Can you trust that God is watching, listening, and working in ways you can’t see? Will you believe there truly is Good News coming?