A Nice Story (Luke 1; John 1:1-4)

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?  I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1:18)

Sometimes it feels like things just aren’t going to work out for me.  Yes, I’ve heard about what God has done in the past for other people, but it seems unlikely that He’ll show up in my situation.  And yet, there’s something about reading the story of Zechariah and John the Baptist’s birth that’s intriguing.  What would you have done if you were burning incense in the Temple and an angel came to tell you that your wife who had long ago gone through menopause would now be giving birth?  It’s not like this had never happened in the history of Israel.  Surely Zechariah remembered Abraham and Sarah.  Surely he knew that God is capable of anything.

I’m not exactly sure what Zechariah was thinking, but it might be similar to what I would be thinking: that was a nice story back in the day, but I’m not really sure that it will work out like that for me.  It’s not that I don’t believe the story was true, it’s just that I somehow think that God isn’t big enough to do it again.  I limit God in my mind and shrink Him down to a manageable size.  I think maybe that’s what Zechariah did, and I think that’s why the angel caused him to go mute.  You can’t manage God, and you can’t put Him into your box.  To do so is to misunderstand who He is.

I suppose we all have moments of trying to manage God and to place Him in the box we feel is appropriate, but the challenge in response to this is to blindly trust Him regardless of the sense such trust makes.  God has proved time and again that He’s capable of doing more than we can possibly imagine.  So let’s begin trusting that He will do so.  When that happens, we will sit back in awe at our awesome God.

Father, I want to believe that You’re a big God and that You care deeply about my circumstances.  If I’m honest, though, there are times when I feel the exact opposite of that – that You don’t care about my circumstances and You’re not big enough to do something about them.  Please forgive me for my foolish doubt, and let me trust You in new ways.