December 20th - Day 24 | Promises: An Advent Family Devotional
“13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been 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 before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will 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 and he will 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 for the Lord a people prepared.”
- Luke 1:13-17
Have you ever given up?
I don’t mean giving up figuring out where to eat as a family because nobody can make a decision. I am talking about a time when you really threw in the towel, you put the dream to bed, you decided to be done with the person, the thing, or the outcome for which you had been hoping.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up. They were done! For years, even decades, they longed for a child. Zechariah wanted someone to whom he could pass down all of the inside secrets of being a great priest. Elizabeth longed to scoop up a running toddler, squealing with laughter as they played chase. All the years of hoping and dreaming for their longing to be fulfilled had faded away. They moved on. They gave up. They were content with life as they knew it, pursuing other passions and pursuits.
As Zechariah prepared for his once in a lifetime opportunity to offer incense before the presence of the Lord, people worshiped outside with expectation. Zechariah could never have expected what happened next. As the angel declared he would have a son in his old age, Zechariah stood stunned in disbelief. Not only would Elizabeth bear a son, but John would be the promised one to prepare the way for the Messiah all of Israel had been waiting for!
As you hang your ornament, remember, God delights in fulfilling desires you have given up on. Thank Him for every desire He has fulfilled, even the unexpected ones.