Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him. (v. 66, NIV)
How often do we look at young children and wonder what they will become? I recently experienced the unexpected birth of my granddaughter. Unexpected because, as parents, we had other plans for our daughter than her becoming a mother at that moment in her life. The situation might have easily broken our family apart. But Jeremiah 29:11 played a significant role in guiding us to where we are today: “‘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’” (NIV).
Without faith and prayerful intervention, our family crisis could have turned out differently. Now my granddaughter is here and she is a blessing. I know that our family is in a better place. I pray for her daily and wonder what her future holds. What will she become? Will she make a significant positive impact on others when she grows up?
God gives Zechariah and Elizabeth details about John’s ministry before Elizabeth conceives. What an awesome responsibility to parent one who will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins (vv. 76-77), and who will baptize the Messiah. Imagine how you might react if guiding this child was your responsibility. Fortunately, the hand of the Lord was with him (v. 66). God was with his parents as well. Though our situations differ from theirs, God is with every parent whose faith helps them trust that in our most challenging and unforeseen circumstances, blessing can ultimately arise.
Where do you turn for reassurance when circumstances cause you to question your faith?
Gracious God, help us understand that your plans for us are better than the plans we make for ourselves. Amen.