So I am reading through the book of Luke with some amazing women and yesterday as I read Luke chapter 1, the Lord really spoke to me. As I was emailing them with what He brought out for me, He made it clear that this was a word to be shared with all. So, here goes…..why don’t you read Luke chapter 1 and then continue reading. (If you don’t have a bible handy, I LOVE biblegateway.com)
So, as I was reading I took notice of Zachariah and Elizabeth. The Lord had said He was going to give them a child. The bible states that they were both very old. Elizabeth had been unable to have a child, she even called this a ‘disgrace’.
25 “This is the Lord’s doing. He has shown his favor to me by removing my disgrace among other people.”
As I thought about this couple, who,”6 were both righteous before God, blameless in their observance of all the Lord’s commandments and regulations,” and had their dreams crushed time and time again. I can just feel the pain of month after month, no pregnancy. Prayers left unanswered. I can feel the sting of constant disappointment and heartbreak. And yet, they still continued to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.
The Lord began to show me how this can apply to all of us. Have you ever felt disappointed because the desire of your heart was not given to you in the time frame you were hoping for? Have you ever been heartbroken by seemingly unanswered prayers? Have you ever given up hope on a dream because it seemed the time had past, the circumstances would never be right again, you had missed your window of opportunity, or maybe feel you are just too plain old to dream a little dream?
Well, what was the Lord doing for this devoted couple? He so longed to give them the desires of their heart. I know He was hurt watching their suffering, all the while knowing He had such an incredible honor and blessing for them. He sent them a child, in their old age, who prepared the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! WOW! AMAZING!
So what I believe the Lord is saying through this awesome example is, He could have given them the desire of their heart on their timing, but He loved them too much to allow them to miss His best for their lives. He chose to answer their prayer in a MUCH BIGGER way than they could have ever hoped for. He chose to bless them in such a supernatural way that everyone took notice and PRAISED GOD for this miracle, realizing that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD. He chose to use their blessing not only to bless them, but all of us for all generations.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us
I believe what God is saying is that if He makes us wait, it is because the blessing we receive, the answer to our prayers, the giving of the desires of our heart, will be so much grander, and have such a greater purpose than we could ever hope for or imagine, that it is worth the wait!
Also, we can learn from their devotion. They were called righteous, and it was noted they kept the Lord’s commandments. Can you imagine if the one thing you have asked God for, you felt He had asked you to surrender, and having such gratitude and reverence for WHO GOD IS, over who He seemingly wasn’t, and still serving Him with all of your heart? This is a big concept for me. Their example of being righteous, and serving the Lord, despite their hurt, confusion, and sorrow, has definitely caused me to ask the Lord to help me mature, so that this will be my choice in the midst of the storms I will face in life. I believe the Lord could use them for this honor and miracle because of their obedience, their love, and their wholehearted devotion. This lifestyle has become a desire of my heart.
So I guess what I have been asking myself, I will ask you too. Do you really believe, “37 For nothing is impossible with God?” Are we living in relationship with who God is, or with who we have known Him not to be? Are we remaining faithful through our hurts, heartbreak, and let downs?
Friend, we do not have the details of how they remained devoted, but I know the people in the bible are not fictional characters, they are real people just like you and I. I believe they were not perfect, in fact righteousness is a gift from Jesus, meaning: right with God, and that only comes from Jesus. I believe they were able to be real with God,expressing their deepest wounds and finding rest and peace above their pain in His love. This is not a message of :Suck it up and serve anyway with a smile on your face.” This is a message of: take your broken heart to Jesus, asking Him to make a beautiful mosaic out of it, more creative and passionate than the original. Run to Him, not from Him. I believe this is the only way we can remain devoted through our struggles. Lay down your need to understand, recognize He is God and we are not, TRUST HIM, but be real about where it hurts. It is in this vulnerable posture that His love will begin the healing process, and once you have been there and received from this place, you will NEVER want to be anywhere else. This is where true devotion, true righteousness, true deep and passionate intimacy with the Lord begins and never ends. Will you go there? I hope so.
Lord Jesus! Thank you for such awesome love. Thank you for being our healer. Thank you for knowing us so intimately that you can restore everything we have lost in the battle. Thank you for caring about us so passionately, that you won’t give us everything, to ensure we can be available to receive Your best. You are the best. All I want is You! I love You Lord. I need You Lord! It is in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!