Another year has gone and a new one invites us to write another chapter in our lives. I hope that you managed to get some well needed rest and rejuvenation during the Christmas period. With the joy of spending quality time with friends and family it always goes so quickly (for me anyway) and before I know it, its time to pick up from where I left off and continue on this journey called life. I am so glad that God puts us in families, whether they be relatives or spiritual families bound together by a different kind of blood – the blood of Christ. We were not created to be alone, the Trinity is testament to that.
Have you ever wondered what Elizabeth must have felt like when after decades of wanting a child she found herself pregnant following her husband Zacharias’ ‘out of the blue’ encounter with the angel Gabriel? Years and years of serving God faithfully, trusting Him, and at the same time trying to deal with the shame of barrenness the best she could. It is difficult to understand what the shame must have felt like, because these days, infertility is not seen as something to be ashamed of, but a health problem that needs to be solved.
When did it finally sink in that she was going to have a baby? Was it when her husband tried to explain what the angel had said using signs or perhaps writing on a scroll? I doubt it. More than likely it would not even be in the first trimester, for it is possible that she had conceived and miscarried in the past, so she could not exactly trust that this would not end in the same way. Perhaps it was in the second trimester when her cousin Mary visited her with her own extraordinary story of another visitation by an angel? Possibly, because the Bible tells us that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt at the sight of the mother of the coming Messiah. Surely that would have assurred Elizabeth that this baby was indeed special. Or perhaps she didn’t fully believe until the day she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, just like the angel foretold. And then, her dream was fulfilled.
Ever experienced the joy of seeing a dream, particularly one that you have had for a long time – fulfilled? There is no joy like it. Like the dream of the Father fulfilled when His Son rose victoriously from the dead, bringing with Him many sons and daughters. Like my dream fulfilled when I held my medical diploma in my hands, or walked down the aisle to be married to my husband, or held my daughter and then son in my arms for the first time. “A dream fulfilled is a tree of life”, the Bible says in Proverbs 13:12b. The earlier part of this verse says the opposite though; “hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
What hopes did you have for 2014 that were deferred? I have a few, myself. I reckon you do too. The temptation is to dwell on the fact that those hopes were deferred, making our hearst more sick than ever. Or worse still, to decide there is no point keeping a hold on that hope. What are the chances of it happening in 2015 if it didn’t happen in 2014? We decide it is safer not to hope at all than to hope and be disappointed when we don’t see the fulfilmsnt of those hopes. In between those two verses I mentioned above there is one small word that makes all the difference – but. I love the ‘buts’ of the Bible. There are lots of them if you will only take the time to look for them.
These patriach’s (talking about Josephs brothers) were jealous of their brother Joseph and sold him to be a slave in Egypt. BUT God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. (Acts 7:9,10)
“Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, BUT she herself is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do.” (Luke1;36,37)
Hope deferred may make the heart sick, BUT if you don’t give in to the temptation to stop hoping, the dream when fulfilled will be like a tree of life – visble to everyone and a blessing to all around you.
So as the year begins, pick up your hopes and dreams and give them again to the Father. Trust Him to do what He says He will do. Take your eyes off the impossibilities and fix your gaze on the One who doesn’t have the word ‘impossible’ in His vocubulary. You never know, this could be the year the dream is fulfilled. After all, Elizabeth had no idea her husband would have the encounter of his life that day in the temple. For with God things can change in an instant. That instant could be today. And if not, then tomorrow, or the day after, or the day afer that………
I would love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line.
In His Precious Name,