When long-held dreams fail to come to become reality, it is painful.
Sometimes they eventually wither and die- we learn to accept that it’s too late and it’s never going to happen- but other times we can’t bring ourselves to relinquish them altogether. In many ways it would be easier if we could, but some desires continue to burn within us despite the seeming impossibility that they will ever be fulfilled. Whether it’s a spouse, or a child, or a particular job or achievement, we can’t bring ourselves to give up on the dream even when it looks unlikely.
We don’t know how it was for Elizabeth and Zechariah. Had they given up on their dream of having a child or did a spark of hope remain?
Either way, with every passing day their chances were decreasing. Elizabeth was getting older all the time. The hope they had for the future became a longing which was increasingly likely to remain unfulfilled, and the joyful anticipation of their younger days gave way to a sense of disgrace.
Surely it was too late!
To make it worse, their personal time of waiting was set in the context of an even longer wait.
For 400 years there had been silence from God. No prophets, no miracles, no evidence that God had remembered his people at all. There were the ancient promises of a Messiah who would come to save, but no sign that it was likely to happen any time soon…
…Until one day, as Zechariah is fulfilling his duties in the Temple, an angel appears.
The silence is broken, and everything changes.
Elizabeth and Zechariah’s longings for a child will be fulfilled at last, but that’s not all – their son will be used by God to prepare people for the coming of the Messiah!
It seems unbelievable! Zechariah certainly struggles to accept it, but years of waiting can do that to you. Doubt, fear and resignation have set in. Can he dare to believe that it’s not too late after all?
I don’t know what you are waiting for, what dreams you have held in your heart for years, and I don’t know if those dreams will ever come to fruition.
But I do know that it’s not too late for God to do something good in your situation. I do know that he has not forgotten you, and that he has a good plan for you no matter how impossible that may seem.
“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26 NLT)
“Somewhere in your silent night,
Heaven hears the song your broken heart has cried.
Hope is here, just lift your head
For love has come to find you
Somewhere in your silent night.”
Join me on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout Advent for more Christmas Hope! Links to all the posts in the series can be found here.