By Jill Briscoe
Zechariah needed dawn in the midst of disappointment. All his life he had prayed for a child. Now he and his wife, Elizabeth, were old. But in his old age he finally got the opportunity to enter the Holy of Holies and present the daily offering. In Zechariah’s day, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And as Zechariah carefully followed the prescribed temple rituals, an angel appeared to him, frightening him out of his wits. The angel said, “Zechariah, I’ve come because of your prayer.”
I can imagine Zechariah wondering, “Which prayer? The prayer about getting the Romans off our backs? About Israel turning back to God? About my rheumatism?” And the angel said, “No, not those prayers. The prayer… about the baby.” And Zechariah probably thought, “Huh? Oh, that prayer.” I wonder when he had stopped praying that prayer—undoubtedly years before.
But you see, God never lets your prayers fall to the ground. Years after we’ve stopped praying, God answers our prayers. Sometimes we don’t even recognize when God answers because we’ve forgotten all about it. But God in His grace answers anyway. So the baby came and the dawn rose on Zechariah’s disappointments.
Are you like Zechariah? Have you been sitting in the darkness because of a lifetime of disappointments? Zechariah wasn’t what we would call a bad person; he was quite devout, probably a righteous man in human terms. Yet disappointment had set its shadow over his life.
And then the light dawned.
“…’Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son….’” ~ Luke 1:5-17
Lord, thank You for Your glorious timing that I cannot understand. Thank You for hearing my prayers and knowing just how and when to answer them. When I am disappointed or wondering why things aren’t changing, remind me that Your ways and Your timing are always best. Amen.