He remembered coming out of the temple several months ago and the way that those who were waiting outside immediately started asking him questions. What had happened in there? Why had it taken so long? Was he okay? The people had soon realized that Zechariah couldn’t speak and it didn’t take long for them to deduce that he had had met with God in the temple.
A few days later Zechariah had returned home and during this time, he soon adapted to be able to communicate well enough to live his everyday life. He could indicate simple things such as when he wanted a drink or something to eat but deep and meaningful conversation was more difficult.
Zechariah felt frustrated with himself for not believing the angel. His anger with himself had intensified when his wife’s relative Mary had visited a few months earlier. She too had met an angel but she had believed. If only he had replied as she did,“I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” then things might have been so different.
Although he was having trouble communicating with people, but he was talking with God more passionately and enthusiastically than ever. God’s promise had come true and Elizabeth was due to give birth any day now and she was full of a deep and powerful joy that he hadn’t seen for many years. Zechariah had so much to be thankful for even though he was frustrated at being unable to speak.
Although life was difficult and frustrating, Zechariah felt God’s healing presence and strength as he poured out his heart to him.
What do we do when life is frustrating? Do we wallow in self-pity and pain or do we turn to God and give it to him?
Zechariah’s faith grew and thrived even though he couldn’t speak. He had shifted from a place of real doubt and spiritual shallowness to a man of faith who was excited at all of the things that God was going to do.
I hope that we will all experience God’s peace, presence and guidance when we are frustrated and angry as we turn to him. No one wants to suffer and struggle, but I pray that when we do that we will meet with God in such deep and special ways and that our faith would grown and thrive.
This is the third in a series of short thoughts for advent to help us to consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus as we prepare ourselves for Christmas.
I am hoping to publish one each day in December leading up to Christmas day, so check back tomorrow as we explore how Elizabeth felt about these events.