I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
Listen to this message I gave at a women's retreat to gain the fresh perspective you need to see Jesus in a new way! My FREE gift to you!
I sat alone in an empty house. Silence. Utter, complete quiet. For a mom of three boys, this makes my heart sink, shatter and split open raw.
I knew my boys were safe and would be returned in due time – but I was faced with the reality that for the first time in my life I was free of responsibility. I finally had time to think, create and play (or do the laundry, mop the floor and take the van for an oil change).
On this particular day, however, I felt a bit frozen. As my chair inched closer to my kitchen table, my journal wide-open and my pen ready in hand. The words just would not come, although my tears did. Life has a way of doing this to me – to us. Right when we think we finally have a routine worked-out, changes come charging in from left field and send us running to the dugout.
I found myself there – deep in the dugout. I no longer wanted to play in the ballgame of life. I wanted to simply disappear. I wanted life to go back to what I defined as normal – otherwise known as predictable. I needed to be in control (as if that is even possible?).
With tears rolling gently down my cheeks, I silently begged God to give me some kind of peace in my moment of uncertainty. A new Truth that I could cling tightly to right now – not a minute from now, but this very second.
He answered in a way I never saw coming.
I opened my Bible app and the passage staring back at me that day was Luke 1. I’ve read through the account of John the Baptist’s birth and Christ’s birth so many times, I almost left the passage altogether. But God gently brought me back. I took a deep breath and began to read.
For the first time in my life, I noticed the two gifts that were given by God to two completely different receivers. Did you catch this too?
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.”
19 The angel said to him, “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.20 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 appointed time.” (Luke 1:18-20 NIV)
I did so much research on Zechariah’s role in the temple that day and I will spare you most of the details. But imagine for a moment that you are chosen by holy lot to offer incense at the ark of the covenant – the Holy of Holies. Never mind that this event would most likely only happen once in a man’s lifetime. Never mind that the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and spoke to him in God’s presence. Ignore the fact that Zechariah and Elizabeth had been asking God for a son for decades and that promise was now coming true.
The key words here are in Zechariah’s response: “How can I be SURE of this?”
Has God ever given you a miracle in your life that seemed too good to be true? An answer to prayer delivered in a package that seemed too difficult to receive? Zechariah understands. Deep in his heart, he had given up hope that God would ever give him and his wife a son. It’s almost as if he saw this moment as a cruel joke. Why would God wait until old age? Would Elizabeth even survive childbirth? How would they be effective parents at their age? God, why would you do this right now?
Hold onto those questions, we will get back to them later.
Zechariah was so blinded by all of the “what if’s” he missed the I AM.
As I sat there reading through this passage, I realized how I had been praying specifically that God would give me more time to just rest and grow in Him. As I read back through my journal entries, God made it so clear that this was the perfect space God was giving me to discover what it really meant to be still (something I’ve always struggled with). It was a gift I had given up on too.
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34 NIV)
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38 NIV)
Mary asked for clarification, Zechariah asked out of doubt.
It’s okay to ask questions as long as you have the right heart.
After reading Mary’s account, I began asking God different questions.
See the difference?
I began reading through Luke 1 way before December ever came. God just planted me there and He spoke Truth that began to anchor my heart deep into His Promises. His Truth anchored me and continues to hold me through life’s changes. I definitely have my doubtful moments and my rocky days – but so did Zechariah. So did Mary I’m sure. The point is to simply be ready to receieve all that God is giving to us, preparing your heart to see Him in new ways.
What questions are you asking? How is God working? How are you receiving?
I love walking this out with you! Here’s to receiving all of 2019 with open eyes, hearts, and hands!
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!