Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I know that this will happen? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.” Luke 1:18-20 (New Revised Standard Version)

I am a practical person.  Evaluating the feasibility of the goals I set is an important part of achieving my ambitions. I subscribe to the wisdom of knowing the difference between the things that I can impact and those things which are beyond my reach.

Zechariah’s experience with the angel, Gabriel, teaches us that God’s power defies all human limitations and expectations.  God can accomplish anything and often works through unexpected characters.  How often have I given up on hopes and dreams because I didn’t think they were possible?  What have been the consequences of these crises of faith?  Zechariah immediately learns the consequence of his disbelief.  He is fortunate that his lack of faith only causes him to become mute and provides further witness to the power of God.

I take comfort in knowing that God’s power will not be interfered with.  Zechariah’s failure to believe Gabriel’s message did not stop God’s work.  Likewise, while my human frailties and weak faith may have consequences for me, they will not disrupt God’s plan.  John’s birth to Elizabeth and Zechariah was a miracle that God made despite Zechariah’s practical understanding.  I am encouraged by this story because it demonstrates God’s saving power in the face of disbelief.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me forever to know that in you all things are possible. Amen.

Wondering While Waiting: When was a time you doubted something someone said to you, but later found out it was true?


Greg – Inspire. Ignite. Invite.

Bethel Lutheran Church, Gary, IN