Luke 1:13-17 (NIV)
13But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
I do not like waiting. I am impatient and impassioned…when I decide I want something; I want to make it happen now. God doesn’t work that way. In Galatians 5:22-23 (NRSV), Paul even says, “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” God wants us to do things in God’s time. Not Rachel’s Time. God’s Time.
God’s Time can be tricky, though. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were faithful people, but their prayers for a family had gone unanswered. Luke 1:6-7 (NIV) says “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.”
It sounds like they deserved what they desired, right? Why wouldn’t God grant them what they wanted? In this instance, it’s because God’s Time didn’t align with Zechariah’s Time. 2000 years later, I, too, experience this conflict of interest. What differentiates Rachel’s Time from Zechariah’s Time, however, is that Zechariah kept praying. He continued to go to the temple and partner with God, devoting himself to the relationship rather than results.
Then, in an instant, both clocks struck in unison. God appeared to Zechariah to tell him the good news: he would, in fact, be granted the gift for which he’d hoped. And his prayer would be answered in ways more glorious than Zechariah could’ve ever dreamt.
God’s Time operates perfectly, so why should I continue chasing after broken Rachel’s Time? God hasn’t burst forth while I ask for something I think I want, but he might. Until that time comes, I’ll be praying in the temple, patiently waiting to be a vessel for God’s miracles.
Dear God, grant me patience. Give me the faithfulness of Zechariah and Elizabeth, using my time to grow closer to you instead of making demands in frustration. Open my eyes to the miracles all around me so that when you do show yourself, I may eagerly jump into the opportunities you’ve so perfectly laid out for me. Thank you for teaching me humility in wanting what’s best for me. Amen.