Thursday, January 17, 2013

Devotion: God's Timing During Struggles

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"Zechariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote, 'His name is John,' and everyone was surprised. Immediately, Zechariah could talk again, and he began praising God." Luke 1:63-64

It had been almost 3 years, and we were still living with my parents. Our house, 100 miles away, was sitting empty, for sale, with very little prospects. And we were living with my parents hoping, each day, we would get the phone call that someone was interested in our house. Those 3 years were some incredibly trying times. It's hard to raise your growing family in someone else's home. And I'm sure that it is hard to let your grown daughter, her husband, and her 2+ kids basically take over your house. During the time we were there, we got pregnant with our 3rd child, our only girl, went through the entire pregnancy, and was there the 1st year of her life, never having a nursery or baby room of her own. It was also the time of my most difficult years of teaching. Every day I came home just emotionally exhausted with the struggles of teaching in a new school, with students who don't know how you work, and with parents who don't know to trust you.

It was a HARD 3 years.

But God is sovereign. He knows exactly what He's doing, and His timing is perfect. Everything He does has a purpose; each moment a piece of a puzzle grander than I'll ever see.

I was reminded of this time of struggle for me this morning as I was going through today's verses in the Bible study I am doing through Good Morning Girls. We just started the book of Luke, and today's scripture reading was about the birth of Jesus's cousin, John the Baptist. If you don't know the entire INCREDIBLE story, basically an older couple was able to conceive after giving up. Zechariah, the father, didn't believe the angel {yes, I said ANGEL...who doesn't believe an angel?}when he said Zechariah's aging wife, Elizabeth, was going to be blessed with a child, a boy who would grow up to help prepare the way for God's son, Jesus. Because of Zechariah's doubt, the angel took away Zech's voice.

So fast forward to today's verses. Read the entire section of John's birth HERE. In this Bible study I'm doing, we follow the SOAP method {"S"cripture, "O"bservation, "A"pplication, and "P"rayer}, and today's verses we were to write out are the ones above, Luke 1:63-64. At first I was not impressed with the scripture choice, thinking that maybe verses 65-66 would have been a better option. Then after really looking at the scripture, what I noticed was Zechariah's statement about the name of his son. No one expected the boy's name to be "John"; it wasn't a family name, and it was Zech's first child. Why not name him after Zech? It became obvious to me that Zech and Elizabeth had already "discussed", probably through writing and sign language, the child and what his name should be. You would think that God would have given Zechariah his voice back as soon as his heart understood the truth. But he still struggled.

God's timing is perfect. Because of the miracle of Elizabeth even conceiving a child and carrying it to term, there would be a ton of people present to celebrate this little miracle. God chose that moment to give Zechariah his voice back. It was a moment where everyone would see it actually happen, and would be amazed, and, most importantly, would tell everyone they knew. If you read the entire section, word of Zechariah and Elizabeth's miracles spread around town and through the mountains. His struggles happened for a reason. God had a greater purpose than just teaching Zechariah a lesson. He wanted the significance of John's birth, John's existence to be noticed, to be surrounded by miracle upon miracle. People would be watching this child. Word would get around that God had a special plan for this John. And word did.

Something simple as a person losing his voice set in to motion a chain of events that all went back to glorify God. His plan, His purpose is perfect. His timing has meaning.

What a reminder for me when I am going through struggles. There was a reason why my house didn't sell right away. There is a reason why I struggle with my weight. There is a reason why no matter how much we budget and cut back, we are still struggling to make ends meet. There is a reason why my children have their struggles. Why YOU have YOUR struggles. Waiting on God's timing can be difficult, but see it more as an honor that He is working something special in your life that will have a positive effect at the right time. It will be worth it in the end, and you will be able to see how incredible God's timing is.

1 comment:

  1. I never realized how much of a struggle that time must have been for you. I remember praying for you guys to be able to sell your house, but you kept such a good exterior about the whole thing. I don't remember any complaining, or "woe is me" attitude. So true, about God's timing. A ~slightly cheesy~ comparison that just came to mind is a class I am doing at the Y. The instructor never counts off reps, and it is UNBEARABLE. I reach my limit far before she actually lets up. When I know how many reps there are, I can adjust my body and weights accordingly,but not knowing really pushes my potential far more. It's stressful, and I hate it in the moment. The Lord really gets the burn on our spiritual faith muscles in those phases. Hopefully there is no sacrilege in that statement... as my former workout buddy, I know you will understand. xx