Beside Still Waters: At the appointed time

Therese Apel

Photo: Therese Apel

The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” – Luke 1:19-20

We’re in the book of Luke now, and while I love all the Gospels for various reasons, I love this one because Luke is basically a journalist. He has gone back and researched and interviewed those who were there and have an eyewitness account, and he has written a comprehensive picture.

I love that he lays the groundwork here with Zechariah and Elizabeth, but I also love how it flows so smoothly from the last thing we talked about — believing what God has told us.

In this case, the angel had just laid out that Zechariah would have a son who would come before the Messiah and operate in the power of Elijah, and that he would be consecrated to God… and Zechariah was like, “Wait, what?? How??”

Do you blame him, though? I’m sure there must have been more of a conversation than this, because I feel like God would understand him needing to rub his eyes and be like, “Lemme get this straight… you’re an ANGEL, and you’re telling me that me and my elderly wife are going to have a baby, and he’s going to be ELIJAH, and he’s going to lead the way for the MESSIAH??”

But even then, Gabriel said, “Okay, yeah, but you should have believed me. Now you don’t get to talk until he’s born.”

Friends, I need to hear this as much as any of us. If God says it, you can take it to the bank. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have angels showing up in all their Heavenly glory to bring the message. I think this is where faith comes in though.

It is our job to wait on Him to bring that miracle. In that waiting, we obey. We simply put one foot in front of the other and believe that He will bring about His will, and that He will use us as His tools for that purpose.

This story has a lot of parallels to Abraham and Sarah, and I can’t help but think I’m a little more like them. I hear the promises, God, but I don’t understand the waiting period. Couldn’t you have just told me when it was time for all this to happen so I didn’t have to sit here and stress about it?
That’s His message. Listen, believe, don’t stress. Though the mountains crumble into the sea, He is in control. No matter how crazy the promise — because I’m sure Zechariah thought this was INSANE — God will follow through.

Let’s pray for each other, that we’re willing vessels, because sometimes it’s hard to just let go and trust.

Let Him have you, have your life, and you just believe. ❤️

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