He remembered coming out of the temple several months ago and the way that the people who were waiting outside had 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 and his frustration 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. He was so frustrated that he hadn’t replied “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” as Mary had done. Some simple faith and obedience and things could have been so different.
Zechariah knew had acted so foolishly but things were changing and his relationship with God was being renewed. He chuckled as he considered the irony that he couldn’t talk 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. 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 alone or do we turn to God and pour out our hearts 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 believe that we can all experience God’s peace, presence and guidance when we are frustrated and angry. 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 be renewed and that it might even grow and thrive as we pour out our hearts to Him.
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.
There is one for each day in December leading up to Christmas day, so check back tomorrow as we explore how Elizabeth felt about these events.