All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.
Today's Reading: Luke 1:57-66
Devo Author: Andy Petry
Date: December 16, 2021
“Are you living by faith, or are you living for what you think is best?” Those words from my college chaplain still echo in my mind. I was in the back of the chapel at my small college, running the sound board with my thoughts racing about the state of my life–a college graduate, unemployed, and frustrated at how God kept giving me opportunities I never wanted. I had gone to college for business, not to pursue ministry. Plus, there’s no way I was qualified or "put together" enough for God to really use me. Yet it still felt like God was lining up every opportunity for me to step into something I never expected or saw as a part of my plan for my life. No matter how much I resisted, I couldn’t shake that feeling.
Zechariah had a similar wrestling with God nine months before this passage when the angel told him that he and Elizabeth would have a son in their old age. I love his response to the incredible news: “How can I be sure of this?” (“You sure, Gabriel? That doesn’t seem likely.”) From that moment of doubt until the day his son was born, Zechariah lost his ability to speak. And now we see the promise of God to work an unlikely work through unlikely people coming to pass, just like Gabriel said. Elizabeth and Zechariah’s son is born and despite some objections from confused friends and family, they name him John. Zechariah, of course, couldn’t confirm the name verbally; so he wrote it out, obediently following God’s instruction. The result? Immediately Zechariah can speak again, and the first words out of his mouth are praise and thanksgiving to God. “All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things” (Luke 1:65 NIV
God loves to make Himself known in unexpected ways through unexpected people. If you had told me eight years ago that I’d be on staff at a church and doing the things I am doing now through Celebrate Recovery, I would have said you were crazy. But looking back now, there’s no place I would rather be. Living by faith and trusting God when He’s pushing us in unexpected directions is hard. Our own doubts that He can use us ring loud in our ears and we may find ourselves wondering, “Really, God?” But God always has a plan of carrying us through things in a way that causes us to look back on it and praise Him. And along the way He grows us closer to Him, stretching our trust, and displaying His glory to those watching around us.
Is God leading you somewhere unexpected? Lean in to Him. Ask for the grace to trust Him. And know that He’s with you on the journey each step of the way.