My wife and I have experienced times when life didn’t flourish, and when hope didn’t abound. In 2010, our battle with infertility left us with little faith. Peace and joy felt buried somewhere we couldn’t find.
So, I can relate to Zechariah in Luke 1. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are older—with no hope of having kids, even after years of prayers. When Zechariah, who is a Jewish priest, learns from an angel that he and Elizabeth will have a son to be named John, Zechariah is skeptical. Probably from years of disappointment and pain, he questions God’s plans and abilities.
Our questions often reveal our true mindsets, and if we’re not careful, our mindsets and motives can keep us from moving forward in God’s plan. Faith matters to God, even faith the size of a mustard seed. God knows that unbelief can spread and destroy our hope and confidence in his work if it’s left unchecked. To keep Zechariah’s unbelief from growing and spreading to others, the angel tells Zechariah that he will be mute until his child is born.
There are moments when we can talk ourselves right out of the work that God is doing. Instead, we must let our hope build in a God that loves to miraculously provide. God miraculously provided for me and my wife. We now have two beautiful daughters, ages 10 and 7. Our oldest is named Arabella and a few weeks after she was born, we learned her name means “answered prayer.”
This Christmas, I pray that you have incredible encounters with the God of hope. Hold out for the miracle, keep faith that God will move in your circumstance. Don’t be surprised if it happens in ways you never expected.