Old and Childless

Zechariah and Elizabeth have always intrigued me. Remember them? He was a priest in the Temple of the Lord. They had spent their entire lives serving God faithfully. They were rule followers. Probably had the Torah completely memorized.

Both Zechariah and Elizabeth were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. Luke 1:6

Yet they were childless.

It’s easy to read over that part quickly. Old and Childless. It’s hard to pause long enough to consider what those few short words truly meant for them on a day to day basis. Hope followed by disappointment year after year.

In those days not only was it a disgrace to not have children, but you had no hope of carrying on the family name. Your lineage would abruptly stop with you. The end. It was heartbreaking. Yet they were still found faithful.

Years of hoping. Years of pleading with God. Years of dreams being unfulfilled. Questions remaining unanswered. Maybe in the beginning, their faithfulness was a subconscious attempt to “barter” with God. Perhaps God would bless them with a child, if they were faithful servants year after year and could be found blameless before Him.

We sometimes think that too, don’t we? Or I sure do. I’m ashamed to say there have been many times that I have gone before the Lord and “read Him my resume.” Reminding Him of all the noble things I had done in an attempt to serve Him. Hoping it would somehow tip the scales in my favor and He change His mind about answering my heartfelt prayer. Please tell me I’m not alone in that.

But along the way, as time continued passing by with no visible answers, their hearts surely shifted. And their faithfulness became their offering of worship. Their humble submission to a God they couldn’t fully understand but had grown to love throughout their years. I do believe that’s a heart shift that MUST take place at some point in all of our lives. A crisis of belief. Will we trust Him even when we don’t understand or agree with Him? Or will we insist on faithfully serving Him only if and when we “get it?”

  • Will our belief in God be dictated by what we see and feel? Or will it begin to take deeper root in spite of all the questions and doubt?
  • Will we allow our faith to continue to grow in a God that we will never fully understand? (At least until we find ourselves in His presence.)
  • Will we reverently submit our dreams to Him when all fingers seem to be pointing in the direction that says….a good God wouldn’t deny you that?
  • Will we make that intentional decision to say “God, I don’t understand or like this. But I am going to trust in You. And Your perfect timing. I believe You will provide what I need, when I need it because You are a good God!” 

Again, reading these words will be much easier than when they are our reality.

I am learning that’s precisely where faith grows. In that crisis of belief. When there are no easy, tidy answers. When we are tempted to quit because we simply don’t understand. And believing Him at His word may seem completely illogical.

And I believe that’s also what Zechariah and Elizabeth spent their life learning, as well. Day by day. Year by year. Trusting in a God that didn’t make sense to them. Yet they were faithful.

And you do know how the story ends, right? Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist-the forerunner who forged the way for Jesus. At 80ish years of age no less! And at that moment, God lifted the veil of confusion for that faithful couple who lived faithfully IN SPITE of their questions and heartache and He allowed them to see with their very own eyes what was true all along.

For NOTHING is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

New Year; New Me. Maybe.

Along with blowing the dust off my rowing machine, I'm doing the same with my blog. Both have been sitting around unused for too long. And yes, I know it needs a little updated facelift. But so does the rest of my house. But for now, we'll just have to settle for hangin out in a somewhat dated space. But what matters is we're here. Old space or no, we've got some catching up to do. First things first. I don't do well with New Year's resolutions. I'm scared to commit. (aka, I'm scared … [Continue reading...]

Behind-the-scenes of Surrender

I had a heart that wanted to surrender.  Still do.  My somewhat privileged life had proven to simply not be enough.  There was a void.  Although it contained comfort, it was missing that deep down sense of purpose.  So I had a choice.  We all do. Comfort or Surrender. My soul was crying out for surrender. But my flesh and my person loves comfort.  I'm happiest when everything is running smoothly.  I mean, who isn't?  When friendships are flourishing, marriage is strong, church is thriving … [Continue reading...]

Are we being DECEIVED?

Deception. It's a powerful tool.  It can trick our minds and distort our thoughts without our knowledge or consent. And I woke up with this on my heart: WHAT IF WE ARE BEING DECEIVED? What if we have unknowingly traded lifelong truth for lies based on our momentary feelings and desires?  What if we have it all wrong?  What if we have successfully been diverted down the wrong path and are headed toward destruction at 100 mph? What if we have been convinced that our own personal truth … [Continue reading...]

When our perspective gets us in trouble

"Oh it looks FINE!  We can do this, no problem,"  I said confidently. My husband disagreed. My son, driving, didn't know who to listen to. "Honey, I can see down the hill.  It's totally fine.  We've got this,"  I said as I stood up in the back seat of the jeep. A fun, adventurous Saturday afternoon of 'off-roading' in our jeep quickly turned into a dangerous situation because of my limited perspective...that I was convinced was unhindered and unlimited.  It was an innocent … [Continue reading...]

Heart prep

  Prayer and God's Word are inseparably linked together; power in the use of either depends upon the presence of the other.  The Word gives me matter for prayer, telling me what God will do for me.  It shows me the path of prayer, telling me how God wants me to come to Him.  It gives me the power for prayer, the assurance that I will be heard.  And it brings me the answer to prayer, as it teaches what God will do for me.  Prayer prepares the heart for receiving the Word from God Himself, … [Continue reading...]

The storm subsided

One day JESUS said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep.  A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.   The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.   -Luke … [Continue reading...]

Will I cross the street?

We're all walking down life's street. Your street may look different than my street.  Yours may be steeper.  Rougher.  More potholes.  More desolate. Or maybe it's smoother.  Fewer steep hills.  Filled with beautiful scenery.  Lots of fellow travelers. But no matter the name of our street, we all encounter it. It usually presents itself as we are walking along minding our own business.  We look up and there it is.  Someone who is hurt and bleeding.  Dirty.  Hungry.  Needy. We … [Continue reading...]

Even if…

**this post is dedicated to my friend, Bethany, who has taught me so much about even if.  Since we couldn't be together and get this "tatted" today, I wrote about it instead. :)     16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he … [Continue reading...]

Waiting Well

Waiting. Who's got time for it? Slow cars.  Waiting rooms.  A line at Starbucks.  The right mate.  A diagnosis. CAN WE JUST GET TO IT ALREADY?! Ain't nobody got time to wait.  We've got people to see and places to go.  We want what we want and we want it NOW.  We want this fast-paced society to hurry up. Yes? In fact, I would submit that when we find ourselves in a quiet spot long enough to actually take a deep breath and realize, mmm....this is actually kinda nice, that guilt … [Continue reading...]