“Praise be to the exalted Lord God of Israel, for He has seen us through eyes of grace, and He comes as our Hero-God to set us free! He appears to us as a mighty Savior…” – Luke 1:69
These words, so very long awaited, were spoken by the old priest, Zechariah – “He comes as our Hero-God, a mighty Savior.” What joy, expectation and relief must have filled those who heard those words declared! A Hero-God was coming to save them! Many might have imagined a prince born in royalty or a man with lofty political connections or a mighty warrior who would have the strength of an army behind him to deliver them all from the oppression and misery they had been suffering in…finally, their Deliverer! Their Messiah! Their Savior!
But… a baby born to a young woman and a simple carpenter? In a small town in Judea? Birthed in such humble circumstances, welcomed by the least of society? This is the mighty Savior? THIS is the Hero-God?
How often the way we think and imagine God will work is not how He ends up working.
He is divinely unpredictable and His ways are so far above ours. We can so easily miss out on what He is doing, simply because He is not doing what we thought or expected! How many times, in our own lives, have we expected “royalty” yet He came in “humility”?
Instead of trying to figure Him out, perhaps we need to grow in trusting Him. Perhaps we need to stop placing our faith in what we think God will do and start placing our faith in God alone. Os Guinness puts it this way:
“Christians do not say to God, ‘I do not understand You at all, but I trust You anyway.’ That would be suicidal. Rather, they say, ‘Father, I do not understand You, but I trust You’ – or more accurately, ‘I do not understand You in this situation, but I understand why I trust You anyway.’ It is therefore reasonable to trust even when we do not understand. We may be in the dark about what God is doing, but we are not in the dark about God.”
You might not understand all that God is doing or allowing or delaying or blocking in your life…but today, be reminded by the prophecy of this priest – do not be fooled by what looks different to your expectations and mislead by your underestimation of His incredible ways. Christmas reminds us that even though God’s promises don’t always come to pass the way we expect, they will surely come.
Prayer: Father, how quickly I tend to move from trusting You to doubting You whenever You do something I don’t understand. But I am reminded by this prophet’s words today, not to set my faith on my idea of what You will do and how You will do it, but instead, to set my faith on YOU. As I enter into this Christmas season, help me, once again, to “trust You anyway.” I am not in the dark about You, God. I know You are faithful and good. Amen.