I remember well the morning I found out I was going to have a baby! For many years my husband and I had wanted, longed for and begged for a child. I knew that I was pregnant long before I took the test, yet I took it any way. What joy and excitement filled our house that summer morning in 2006!
I will never forget what happened next. I called my mom. Mike called his parents. Here we were two grown adults calling people at 6 in the morning because we could hardly contain the news! We were going to have a baby! Us! After all those years, we were going to have a baby!!!
After calling our siblings we began to call our extended family and friends. Mike was on his cell phone and I was on our house phone. By mid-day I think everyone I knew had heard the news! We were so overwhelmed with joy that we couldn’t help but to share it! And so we did!!!!
Reading and studying about Zechariah in Luke 1, I can not but help feel sorry for him. Can you imagine what it must have been like not to be able to tell the good news that he and Elizabeth were going to have a son? Can you see him standing there in the temple courtyard, surrounded by people all wanting to know what had happened to him? Can you see the excitement on his face as he tries with all his might to speak of his joy, yet only silence comes forth?
And then as he makes his way to his wife, what must she be thinking? Has her husband gone mad? I can imagine the frustration as he longs to tell her everything and I can hear the pain of his heart as he can’t. I can imagine him lifting his hands to her face, as tears stream down his own. There is such a hunger in his eyes, such a desperation to speak, yet unable to share with her the great news. I wonder if he fell to the ground still clinging to his precious wife as he cried out for God to forgive him and to loosen his tongue. Oh how, he wanted to be the one to tell her! How happy he could have made her! To see her smile was worth more than all the gold in the world to him. Yet, he could tell her nothing….
How awful it must have been to be given such a great gift, yet unable to speak of it.
And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” ~ Luke 1:18-25
By not taking God at His Word, Zechariah missed out on the joy of sharing the news of God’s blessing with everyone. Zechariah missed out on praising God for the miracle He was making inside of Elizabeth. I wonder as he watched Elizabeth’s body take on the form of pregnancy if he he recalled that moment of doubt. I wonder when he felt little John move, if he felt the pains of unbelief all over again. I wonder as he looked into Elizabeth’s face as she glowed with motherhood, if he longed to tell her how beautiful she was. I wonder when the time came, what it was like for Zechariah not to be able to call family and friends and shout “It’s Time! Our baby is coming!” as a proud father often does.
That one moment of doubt cost Zechariah nine months of praise and worship towards the God who makes all things possible. In those nine months, Zechariah learned more than he had ever learned in all the years he had studied the Jewish laws and customs. In his silent moment, Zechariah learned to “Believe”. Even though Zechariah had faltered in his faith, God was still true to His Promise. No longer did he believe in God, Zechariah now believed God. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is not controlled by our faith in Him?
I wonder how often do we miss out on joy, peace, love and happiness because we simple don’t take God at His Word? Just like Zechariah missed speaking and expressing his joy of the miracle that was taking place within Elizabeth so do we when we doubt. We miss out on so much by not believing God.
I have watched in amazement a couple in our church. She was diagnosed with cancer and would have to with go severe treatment. No matter her prognosis, she and her husband claimed healing. The doctor had told them her treatment would leave her almost lifeless, yet she defied the odds. How did she do it?
She believed God.
She and her husband took Him at His word that He would not fail them. And He didn’t. During her time of treatment she lost all her hair, but her smile never faded. When others looked weak and feeble, she looked strong. Where others gave up, she championed them on. She believed God would take care of her like He had promised, and He did! Not only is she cancer free today, but she is proudly waiting the birth of her first grandchild.
Do you believe GOD?
And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Father, help our unbelief!
Let our faith be more than anthems,
greater than the songs we sing,
and in our weakness and temptations
Let us believe!
~~Newsboys, “We Believe”