- He showed up at work like he'd done a thousand times before.
- She swept the floors, washed the clothes, and hummed as she prepared dinner for her husband.
How many years had it been since they'd stopped asking? Stopped hoping or expecting? It was almost too late now. For reasons known only to Yahweh, they had never had a child.
The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth found in Luke 1 is often overlooked in favor of the greater news found in Luke 2. But their story was important to them, as yours is to you. And there is something we can take away from it that meets most of us right where we are.
Notice the words the Bible uses to describe this senior citizen couple: blameless, righteous, upright.
Picture them: Zechariah with his flowing white beard and a twinkle in his eye. Nothing gave him more pleasure than serving in the temple. It was his calling, his life's work. He loved it and he loved God and he tried not to let it matter that sometimes it seemed God did not love him back.
Second to God in his heart was his lovely Elizabeth. Even with her graying hair and plump frame, she could still make his heart race when she gave him that playful look. Even with no son to carry on his name, he could thank Yahweh that he had Elizabeth.
They were past the stage in life where we all think we are going to do great things. Youthful idealism had evaporated, replaced by resignation and a determination to not let it matter. Rather than grow bitter or turn away from the God they served, they tightened their grips on their faith and held on.
And God noticed.
God always notices. Imagine His pleasure as he watched this sweet couple remain faithful to him even when he had not granted their heart's desire.
Nothing delights the heart of God
like one of his children clinging to him
when the world says
we should turn away.
And out of the blue, an angel appeared.
There was nothing special about that day, nothing that alerted this faithful couple to the fact that God was about to change their world. And that was the point. God found them faithful, righteous, and blameless even when they could have grown cold and cynical. And he delighted to bless them.
Have you about given up? You've prayed and pleaded, cried and stormed heaven's gates, and nothing has changed. Are you remaining faithful anyway? When Heaven writes your resume will it use words like "righteous, blameless, and upright"?
God notices. And he loves to surprise us. If you are remaining steadfast in your holy calling, honorable in the midst of dishonor, trusting the plan of God even when it doesn't look like your plan...you are in for a treat.
Out of the blue, an angel may appear. Be sure you're ready.