Based on a message by Ps Sharon Kelly on February 24, 2019
Blog by Sandy Hopkins
Have you ever imagined God watching over us from heaven and seeing the pleasure on His face when His plans and schemes come together? I do. I think of my own road to salvation and how God orchestrated so many things so I would encounter a wonderful friend who told me about Jesus, invited me to church and was the catalyst to my life being transformed. God is always thinking about you and I and always has had plans for good for your life.
I love finding out people’s back-story. What actually led to a certain point in their lives when God intervened? I find it fascinating and love seeing how God weaves a gold thread through our lives that leads to Him. I recently read the story of Elizabeth and Zachariah…
“During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old. It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.” Luke 1:5-12 MSG
Zachariah and Elizabeth were honorable and faithful in the ministry. Yet I wonder how many times Elizabeth had cried herself to sleep whilst praying and longing for a baby? I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the one time in Zachariah’s lifetime he enters the sanctuary, an angel appeared to answer their prayers. Can you just imagine the excitement in heaven for this long-awaited moment?!
This couple served God every day, they were a great couple, but everything didn’t go great for them. We believe if God loves us then everything will go well for us – isn’t that what most of us think is fair? Yet that’s not the way it happens for anyone I know – what about you?
Here’s where you find the gold by investigating the back-story; the big things happen in the daily pattern of our lives. We tend to notice the headlines and the “aha” moments, but God is at work in the everyday things. Daily when it’s hard to do. Daily doing what we know is right to do because it’s attached to a bigger purpose. Yielding our life to Him every day, choosing right over wrong even when it’s hard.
We that live in first world countries live in a day and age where we can avoid pain. If something causes too much pain (physical or emotional) we can dull the pain with medication, or other lifestyle choices. Yet there is value in yielding yourself to God in the midst of pain. This daughter of the Most High God has found much solace and growth in yielding to God and allowing God to take her firmly by the hand when all she wanted to do was run. God is kind, but not soft and just because something hard has happened doesn’t mean hard is bad.
Take some time to contemplate your own back-story. You might think you chose to start attending church or were lucky you happened to come across someone’s path but think a little harder. Could it be that God had higher plans? Do you think He might have plans for you that are better than you could have hoped for?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV