-Walter Wangerin, Jr.
But 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 give him the name John.
Luke 1:13-14 NIV
“Your prayer has been heard,” this proclamation to Zechariah must have been so comforting. Not really, it seemed to confuse him at first, and then provoke uncertainty. Really, he says, how can this be? He can see his circumstances. It was as if he was thinking, "This prayer should have been answered years ago. Are you kidding me?"
I am in a situation right now, where I am pretty sure God has answered my prayer, but the circumstances leave me wondering how this answer is going to end up for good. I wanted provision, and he has provided wilderness. I asked for protection, and the person I prayed for is precariously safe. I have asked for healing, and more pain pours down.
The true answer that God gave Zechariah and Elizabeth was not just a child, but grace, for that is what the name John means “the grace of the Lord.”
Is grace enough? It should be, but often I act like a spoiled child pouting until I get more. Will I trust in the gift of Advent- Immanuel- or will I keep selfishly demanding what I want instead of trusting God’s goodness? Am I patient enough to wait for an answer that “does the most good for the most people”?