September 13, 2019

Never Too Late

By: Larry Shaffer

The angel said to him, your petition has been heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son, and you will give him the name John. Luke 1.13. 

Here’s what strikes me about this: the child-bearing years had passed. Most likely, the prayers of Zacharias and Elizabeth had ceased. They who once prayed had certainly resigned to the fact that God wasn’t going to answer.  

Nevertheless, the angel affirmed Zacharias, saying, YOUR PETITION HAS BEEN HEARD! 

We pray, and in our minds, we usually assign a time frame to our prayers. Think about it. Even if it’s subconsciously, we assign a time frame of expectation. When we pray for healing, we want it before it gets terminal. Duh. We pray for salvation for another before they go to deep into sin. We pray for addiction recovery for a loved one until we feel it’s a lost cause? We pray for life-transformation until we – well — just give up. We always impose our timeframe perspective to our prayers. 

God doesn’t live in our time zone 

This story reminds us that God answers prayer on His timetable, not ours. We think earthly; He lives in the eternal space! He will do it…in His way and in His time. 

  • God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age when they didn’t think it was possible. The same happened to Zacharias and Elizabeth long after they stopped praying for a son. 
  • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after Mary and Martha gave up all hope. I mean, after all, he was dead. Jesus said to Mary and Martha, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? 
  • Jesus rose from the dead after the apostle gave up all hope. The disciples on the road to Emmaus said, But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel… Luke 24.21. Thomas said, Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. 

There’s a better way. 

Let’s be among those who maintain hope, even when the situation seems hopeless! Perhaps you have been the captain of your own ship, tossed about by every wind and wave of doubt. There’s a better way. Set your anchor of hope in the harbor of Jesus, knowing that the past, present, and future are in his nail-pierced hands. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 

Let us go before the Throne of grace in our time of need and pray, weep and plead with God. Let us then arise and live with the blessed hope that God hears us and is acting. He will act ACCORDING TO HIS PERFECT WISDOM AND POWER. Let’s submit our prayers to His timing, not ours.

After all, do you really believe your timetable is better than Gods?  

Father, we give it all to you. Every need, every hurt, every hope, and every prayer. We give it all to you because You hear, You care, and You act! Today, we surrender “time and timing’ to You. Today, we surrender the manner of how You answer our prayers, as well. Praise You for all things, in all ways and at all times! Amen!