December 21, 2007
The Danger of Doubt
by Fred Alberti, Crosswalk.com Manager of Communities
The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news."
In the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas I thought I'd take a moment to review another birth.
He was the cousin of Jesus and just like him; his birth was a miracle too.
His mother and father were both advancing in years when dear old dad, who was a temple priest, was privileged to be the one chosen to burn incense in the temple of the Lord while the people prayed.
It was during this honorable activity that Zechariah was visited by one very busy angel, Gabriel. (He not only had to meet with Zechariah but would also later meet with Mary to inform her of the role she would be playing in God's plan of salvation.)
Gabriel informs Zechariah about the pending pregnancy of his aged wife. It is then that Zechariah makes a major mistake. He doubts all that God has made known to him.
Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." Luke 1:18
This is when Gabriel gives his qualifications stating, "I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you…"
It is almost like Gabriel is saying, "Excuse me buster, but do you know who I am? I stand in the presence of God, pal. He's the one who told me to come and tell you these things. Are you out of your mind? Well, clearly it seems like you need to just believe more and wag your tongue less. Very well… *poof* you shall not speak until all of this comes to pass."
Zechariah didn't just doubt Gabriel; he doubted God's plan and promise. As a result of his doubt he would have to pay a huge price. What should have been a time of great excitement and loud rejoicing instead had to be endured in silence? (I can't imagine having to experience the joy of announcing the pending birth of any of my five kids in silence.)
We sometimes do the same thing as Zechariah. We doubt God's ability to do marvelous works of joy in our lives or more importantly in the lives of others. Instead we try to steal their joy because we don't want them to be hurt by what we deem will surely be a failure. As a result, the doubt we foster robs us and them of God's intended joyful celebration.
So during this season of joy, wonder, and the miraculous don't be silent when it comes to declaring what God has done for you and encourage others to seek the joy inspiring pleasure of God's gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Make a donation of blankets and other baby needs to your local crisis pregnancy center.