Your Story, God's Story
Why is Christmas such a magical time of year? I think its because everyone is expecting a miracle at Christmas. Consider all the popular movies. Each one has a miracle as it's central plot. Whether it's a boy hoping his parents get back together, a shop-owner hoping he can keep his business running, or a town who needs a new hero to help "save Christmas."
You might be reading this and wishing for your own miracle this Christmas. It's probably much smaller than what makes a holiday movie. But it no less important to you.
Maybe you're hoping our prodigal comes home. Maybe you're wishing for a job. Some are yearning for a special someone to sit next to you by the fire.
2,000 years ago, there was a couple who hoped for their own miracle. But like many, they had long given up on this dream. Zacharias and Elisabeth prayed for a child, but year after year, that prayer went unfulfilled. So, they gave up on the dream.
But this couple didn't give up on God. They stayed faithful. Then, one ordinary day, the extraordinary happened. Zacharias, a priest in Israel, was chosen to give the incense at the altar. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance, a rare honor for such a common man. Then, as he performed this sacred duty, an angel of God appeared, breaking God's 400-year silence with Israel.
The angel told Zacharias that he and his wife, Elisabeth would have a son after all. He would have a special purpose an would prepare Israel for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.
This all sounded impossible to Zacharias. Not the miracle itself—that Jesus would come, that John would be the forerunner. Zacharias, as a believing Jew, knew the Scriptures and believed this.
He just had a hard time thinking God could use silly old him. After all, he and his wife were well past the child-bearing age. But, true to His word, God performed this miracle in the lives of Zacharias and Elisabeth. You know the rest of the story. John the Baptist led revival in Israel and would later baptize Jesus Christ, the very son of God.
But let's focus on Zacharias and Elisabeth. They were faithful people in a time of unfaithfulness. And yet they had given up on the dream God had planted in their hearts—the dream of having a son. What's interesting is that Zacharias had no problem with the big miracle: God sending a Son to be born of a virgin and be the Savior. It was the little miracle he had trouble with, the miracle in his own life. Even though God had done a similar thing in Sarah and Hannah and Rebekah and Rachel, Zacharias refused to believe his wife, Elisabeth could bear a child.
He did something we often do. We believe in the big things of God—sending a son to be our Savior, Creation, Heaven—but when it comes to littler miracles, we limit Him. It's as if we say, Yes, God can create the earth in six days, be born of a baby, and send us to Heaven, but He can't possibly change me, fix a relationship, get me a job.
And God's answer is Yes I can. You see, the biggest miracle has already been done—Jesus. Everything else is small to God.
So maybe today, like Zacharias, you're letting God know that there is something too big for Him. Something even He can't fix.
And the story of Zacharias tells us that there is nothing too hard and that God is still in the business of doing miracles. Even in your own life.
Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at twitter.com/dandarling, or check out his website: danieldarling.com.