I love how the next verse (verse 18) says to “encourage one another with these words.” We have the hope of rising again to meet Jesus in the air because He came, He died, and He rose again! Think of it as your equivalent of the Latin phrase veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered); except, in this case, this was and still is a victory for the entire world – for you, for me! So, comfort and encourage one another, as it says in verse 18. We won!
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Every word Jesus spoke was true. The disciples did not understand it but it must have been a bittersweet realization when they eventually saw these words fulfilled right before their eyes. The waiting and the uncertainty after Jesus’ death must have felt unbearable, brutal even! But in the end, like He said, the joy they had was second to none. And so is our joy today, because we have Him and we know Him.
This passage reminds me of the first time I heard this song. In truth, Christ is our Hope. It’s not the end until He says it is. Remember that.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
God doesn’t play, His word is never a joke. When God says He honors His word above His name, there is a reason for it. That certainly speaks to God’s integrity.
God is certainly saying something in this time, in this season. I don’t know what that might be for you, but I have been learning so much lately – so many things manifesting at their appointed time.
My best possible interpretation for all of this is what Paul says in the Scripture verses quoted above. God knows. God’s got this!
Caution: Read at your own risk
Truly, the saying Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true is a wise saying.
I recently did a series on how God sometimes chooses to disrupt our lives, as seen from the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah. The title of the first post was somewhat a prayer. I was seeing so many amazing things, so many amazing stories come alive. I’ve seen God answer prayers in unexpected ways and at unexpected times, but I was totally unprepared for what happened this time.
I had lost my voice sometime in September of last year after a dental procedure. Went a couple months sounding like I had a really bad cold, but I was never sick during that time. Despite exploring different vocal exercises I found on YouTube, in addition to my continuous consumption of warm fluids, tea, ginger candy, and mostly water – as a singer, these were really important – my voice only got worse. So, in early December, about the time of the Disrupt series, I booked an appointment to see an ENT. I was told I had a laryngeal cyst (it was a big, ugly thing in the back of my throat – I got pictures) and advised to schedule surgery – actually a microsurgery, but surgery nonetheless.
There were so many questions on my mind. Continue reading Careful what you ask for
Ever wondered about that?
But why not?
Why not them instead of a younger couple somewhere who had been waiting just 5 or 10 years?
God had His reasons. But as we can also notice, Elizabeth and Zechariah were tried, tested, and found to be true by God. They were consistent both in prayer and in service.
Think of it: “…your prayer has been heard…”
Zechariah had probably served as a priest all his life. So, if anyone understood the gravity of the instructions that were given for baby John, he did. He and his wife would have all the love you could expect to find in elderly folk – all that raw, pure love – without any of the compromise and the lure of the modern-day life. They would be loving enough yet also old-fashioned enough to understand instructions like “… no wine and no strong drink…”
Wow. Continue reading Disrupt… (III): Why Them?
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1 John 5:14
You know, it’s amazing how God sometimes goes out of His way to make things happen for us.
Zechariah was afraid, no doubt, when the angel Gabriel showed up in the temple. I wonder what kinds of thoughts flashed through his mind in that instant, and how many. I am almost certain that one of those thoughts may have been that he would not make it out of the temple alive. I wonder if there was an awkward pause in that moment – if Gabriel observed him for a second before proceeding with his message – or if he made an appearance and just dived in. Whatever the case, Gabriel reassured him: “…Do not be afraid…”
The next thing Gabriel says surprises me somewhat, maybe because I somehow got excited too quickly and skipped ahead too fast in the reading. But, yes, coming back to this verse really surprised me.
…Do not be afraid… your prayer has been heard…
Hold on a minute. “Your prayer has been heard?” Continue reading Disrupt… (II): Your prayer has been heard
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Miracles are for disrupting the status quo. I like to think of it as God’s way of having fun. God loves to do the impossible. I’ve seen it many times, both in Scripture and in my personal life.
Now, we humans love having our minds blown – but not always the way God does it. Sometimes, His methods make us leap for joy; at other times, we have to sit and wonder what He is doing. Yes, we literally have to keep shut and let Him be God. Continue reading Disrupt my world: Zechariah