December 13, 2021

Advent 2021 - When He's Late

 Devotion for the Week...

December is really speeding by, isn't it? We're now on the third week of Advent 😊 This year's devotional theme is the timing of God and so far we've looked at the fulness of the time and when He's early. Today we're going to look at when He's late.

Like last week, I should point out that God isn't ever actually late, we just think He is because He's not following our timeline. Just look at any toddler being told to wait for something and you'll see that we're not born with much patience. Even as adults we have a hard time accepting it when we have to wait for things, especially the things we want desperately. 

Elizabeth is an example of someone who waited so long she likely believed her prayer would never be answered. Like any woman of her day, she would have wanted a child, but "they had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old" (Luke 1:7). Considering 'they were both very old,' Elizabeth may have even stopped hoping a baby would ever be part of her story. 

How do we react when it seems God is late? Or when the waiting feels interminable? Luke writes, "Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations" (v. 6), which tells me that Elizabeth hadn't turned her back on God in those waiting years. All while she had to endure being childless, she still served Him faithfully.

Then the unimaginable happened: an angel appeared to Zechariah while he was ministering in the Temple and said that Elizabeth would give him a son. To emphasize how long they had been waiting for a baby, "Zechariah said to the angel, 'How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.'" (v. 18). I feel like Zechariah was really thinking, "It's a bit late now, isn't it?"

When Zechariah returned home, mute because he had doubted the angel's words, Elizabeth did conceive. Her recorded response was, "How kind the Lord is!...He has taken away my disgrace of having no children" (v. 25). Her wonder and excitement didn't quite make it into the Bible, but we can imagine how she felt at having her deepest desire granted.

I've always wondered, though, if she was uncertain about taking care of an infant in her old age. Were her knees or her back a little creaky, making the thought of chasing after a toddler seem intimidating? Did she yearn for the energy she had when she was younger? None of her possible fears made it into the Bible, either. 
We continue to  trust God, even  when it seems to  us that He is late |
We can't know if God will grant us our deepest desires, as He eventually did for Elizabeth. All we can do is continue to trust and serve Him as she did, even when it seems He is late.

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