Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
Today's Reading: Luke 1:18-20
Devo Author: Rodney Holmstrom
Date: December 11, 2021
It’s fascinating how discouraged we can become coming out of a long and painful season. We can begin to come to a place of resignation, believing that this is the way it will always be. In this place we quickly fall into a place of deprivation, perhaps even becoming addicted to the negative versus the good around us. It’s uncomfortable for us in this place but familiar, so we stay stuck there. After living in seasons like this we can find ourselves experiencing difficulty in receiving the good around us.
For me, because I lived so many years of my life in a place of pain, I began to doubt God was really with me. It was hard for me to receive the truth that He was with me because things around me were still hard. Instead of looking at the good things and the good news He was speaking, I stayed stuck in negative past experiences.
We see in the story of Zechariah that he’s given good news after an extraordinarily long and hard season. Imagine the hopelessness he and his wife were experiencing up to this point. They probably came to a point where they believed that this is the way things were always to be. And now he’s hearing a completely different narrative from what was to what will now become. Upon hearing this good news from Gabriel, we can see a picture of great doubt and disbelief in Zechariah’s voice. He said, “How can I be sure of this?“ It’s almost as if he is saying, “Yeah…but God, you don’t understand.”
Maybe you have been in a season of drought and dryness that has brought on doubt and resignation in your heart. Maybe you’re having a hard time seeing God, His presence and goodness in your life. Has this left you stuck in a place of doubting God’s power? Perhaps this season has built up a sense of questioning God‘s power to carry you through, leaving you empty and alone.
In this story in Luke 1:18-20, I love Gabriel‘s response to Zechariah when he reminds him where and from Whom this good news was coming. He said, “the presence of God.” When Zechariah couldn’t take in this good news, Gabriel didn’t take the good news back but instead just asked him, in essence, to be quiet and watch God work.
What an incredible lesson we can all apply to our lives too. What are some ways you can look at your life and learn from Zechariah’s hard season? Where are you seeing God’s goodness, beauty, and truth shine? How can you trust God and watch Him work even when you can’t see Him working?
Things may seem hopeless, but standing in the presence of God with trust reminds us there is always a way through it. It might not turn out the way we think, nor look like we think it ought to; but if God is in it, there is always hope.