In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
The Advent (CHRISTmas) season is my favorite time of year, but I always have to wait for it. And then it’s a season of waiting… in lines, in traffic, for packages to arrive, for gatherings, and for glimpses of hope and encouragement.
Zechariah and Elizabeth understood what it felt like to wait for hope and encouragement. Although both were from priestly lines, and lived righteous and blameless before the Lord, Elizabeth was unable to have children. But God! Often we’re deprived of something in the here-and-now because God has something better for us in the future. Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted a child and faithfully prayed for one, but what they received was more than they could have imagined – a prophet.
Advent means coming. Something we look forward to but that’s not here yet. It’s not uncommon for us to feel like God is running late in our lives. I often wish in my own life that the Lord would do more and do it faster. As a church planter I wanted a certain sized team on a specific timeline. But the Lord knew exactly who we needed and when we needed them. Our team didn’t just sit around waiting though, and neither were Zechariah and the people of God. In the meantime, they faithfully served Him, praying with great anticipation.
This might be a season of waiting for you. Maybe even a long season of waiting…But God is still in control.
What circumstance, relationship, career move, or worry do you need to surrender to His perfect timing? Trust His timing this season, pray with anticipation, God is never late!
Thank you for always showing up on time, for fulfilling every promise you’ve ever made, and for having every detail of my life in your loving hands. Help me to trust your perfect timing through this season and into the new year.