Tuesday, August 27, 2019

God's Heart for You

Photo Courtesy of A.L.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

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"To take away my reproach among people…."

Those are haunting, sobering words spoken by a woman who had been told all her life that her worth could only come from bearing children—in particular, sons. These are words uttered from the lips of a woman who consistently proved incapable of  fulfilling this expectation. And now all hope seemed lost. She is, after all, well into old age. 

But with our great God all things are possible, amen? 

In Abraham and Sarah style, the angel of the Lord speaks to Elizabeth’s husband, Zacharias, letting him know that the Lord has heard their fervent prayers, and Elizabeth will conceive and bear a son. 

At last! After many years of prayer, hoping, wishing, despairing— disappointment and reproach brought about by the words and looks of many, now Zacharias and Elizabeth will have the joy of a son—a son who will do amazing things for the Kingdom of God. This son will prove to be the fulfillment of long-awaited prophecies, even heralding in the Messiah, Himself.

The truth is that Elizabeth was always present in the mind of her Creator. He had never forgotten about her. He had never ridiculed, reproached, or belittled her for her lack of a child. No. Far from it. His heart was moved each and every month as Elizabeth faced the realization that yet another month was going by without a baby having been conceived within her. His heart broke every time Elizabeth was made to feel as if her worth were contingent upon bearing a child, rather than based on the sure, firm, unconditional foundation of who she was as a child of the Most High God. 

The reality is that our God’s heart has always been toward the outcast, the marginalized, the mistreated, the lost, the hurting, and the stranger.  And His heart is towards you.

Today, look to Him, abide in Him, meditate on the good news of His gospel, and discover in His Word what He says about you and His heart for you. If you truly grasp down deeply in your toes the infiniteness of His love for you, you will never feel lonely and cast aside the same way again. He is for the hurting, friend. And He is for you. Take joy!

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