Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “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. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” (Luke 1:18-20 NIV)
Time can take its toll in holding on to the promises of God. When I look back at Zechariah I think, he was a priest, a man of God, chosen to be the Father of John the Baptist. But in reality he was just like you or I, frail and subject to the world that we live in. Elizabeth and Zechariah had been praying for years that God would give them a child. This seemingly unanswered prayer would have sent messages to them, though they knew that God is faithful, the situation looked impossible.
It is in these moments that we have to make a decision to believe. To remember the promises and take God at his word, to sum it up, we need to trust Him. Trust that He is who he says He is, and will do what He says He will do.
Did Zechariah trust in God? Yes and no!
There is a place where our hearts are weak, and there is little strength to hold on, he didn’t not want to believe, but he was afraid to risk.
The consequence for Zecahriah was significant, mute until the birth of his son! You would have thought that the ‘do not fear’ angel would have been enough to make him believe.
It is stories like this that remind us of our need to take God at His word and risk our all in trust for the one who gave His all in love.