And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time. Luke 1:20 (NIV)
The second song of Christmas that Luke records is about a priest who struggled with doubt. His name was Zachariah. While on duty in the Temple, an angel appeared to him and told him that he and his wife would have a son that would prepare the way for the coming Messiah. Zachariah and his wife, Elizabeth, had prayed for years to have a child. Given their age, they had given up on that dream from ever becoming reality. But, what seemed impossible with men is possible with God! What’s remarkable to me is how Zechariah responded to the angel’s message. Unlike Mary who accepted the angel’s story despite how impossible it sounded, Zechariah expresses his disbelief in verse 18. Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The exchange between the angel and Zechariah and what happens next is comical.
The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.” Luke 1:19-20 (NIV)
Here’s a father-to-be who can’t speak! He remains speechless until his son was born and then has to write down on a tablet what they will name their child! Only then was his tongue loosed and he sang a song of praise and prophesies in Luke 1:67-79.
I love this story because I can relate to the doubts of this priest. Yet, despite his doubt, God would fulfill His purposes. It gives me hope. Even pastors struggle with doubts, especially when prayers go unanswered and dreams begin to fade. If you can relate, be encouraged, and remain faithful to what God has called you to do. Let God be God and put your trust in Him to accomplish His purpose in His time and His way.