For those of you who have not heard, mom went to be with Jesus on December 24, 2019. This picture is the closest example as to how the two of them are looking right now, so happy to be reunited, and rejoicing even more that they are in His Presence together. Only I am sure their bodies are in the best shape ever! And there’s a possibility that there may not be any motorcycles in heaven (if you can’t tell, that’s what they are leaning on), but then again, we won’t know until we get there.
On December 13th, I was in mom’s living room, having my morning devotions while she was still sleeping and reading the 1st chapter of Luke. I only know the day, because something struck me so profound about this chapter that I had to write it out. Zacharias was given this beautiful prophecy about John right after his birth from verses 67-79. I wonder what Zacharias and Elizabeth thought John would be like from this beautiful prophesy about John’s purpose and anointing. Since Zacharias was a priest, I wonder if he thought John was going to be a great priest who would lead the people in great victorious battles, where he’d hold his hands up over the army like Moses and the army would prevail tremendously. Or maybe he thought John would have visions like Ezekiel that’d fill peoples minds with awe and wonder. Or maybe he’d give prophesies like Isaiah that’d be written down and read in the temple for generations to come. Whatever it was that John was going to do, he knew it was going to be incredibly awesome for through his own mouth the Holy Spirit had said that John “will be called a prophet of the Highest”… going “before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways…” giving “salvation to His people by remission of their sins”…(surely this meant he’d serve in the temple!), “to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” I’m wondering if Zacharias ever dreamed about the day when John clothed in priestly robes would stand before great crowds of people reading the scriptures and explaining all the mysteries of God as he gave “light to those who sat in darkness” & guided their “feet into the way of peace.” What else could words like this mean?
As John grew in the wilderness, do you think Zacharias doubted the words he thought he heard? Maybe it wasn’t the Holy Spirit at all, maybe he’d just spoke out of his own wishful thinking. Do you think he ever felt self conscious being at the temple, dressed in his robes, carrying out his priestly duties, wondering if the people there were whispering about his son, who was “supposed” to be this great prophet full of such insight and holiness, who was living like a wildman on locusts and honey? Who in his way of giving salvation to people by remission of their sins broke every tradition that Zacharias had ever been raised in? How did his son think that by simply pushing them under the water their sins could be forgiven? Where was the sacrifice? People bathe in the rivers everyday, if this was all it took, wouldn’t their sins already be washed away?
Unless if the Holy Spirit was giving Zacharias and Elizabeth a super natural download throughout John’s life (which He totally could have), then they were probably like most of us, wondering if they’d actually heard from God at all.
Luke 1:80 says “So the child grew and became strong in spirit and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.” That’s what the scripture tells us. Which gives us the comfort that his parents must have known he was in the will of God. Did they? In hindsight, knowing the whole story, it makes perfect sense. But in truth, we don’t recognize the trials that cause us to become “strong in spirit.” We don’t see them as nutrition for our inner man and definitely not as building blocks for our character.
But what an insight as to how God sees it! While people are shaking their heads at what appears to be our failure, especially after such a great proclamation at John’s birth, this son who’s spending his days aimlessly in the wilderness, God sees what’s building on the inside. He didn’t let John waste his time building a house he was never meant to live in, or to spend in years in a profession he wasn’t called too. What looked foolish to men, was wisdom to God.
In light of mom’s passing, this insight has become so dear to me. I believed with my whole heart mom was going to be healed. She had a tremendous healing in late August/early September and for weeks the Lord overwhelmed her daily with his goodness. He literally was showering her with His presence so much that many times she said she didn’t know how much more she could stand. About 2 weeks before she passed, she got up one morning and said she’d dreamed that night she was healed, doing all the things she used to do. We were doing exercises, and even though she could only do them while sitting, I had no doubt she was going to get stronger. Then one day she woke up confused and extremely weak, and within 8 days she was gone.
In Luke 7:19-20, while in prison, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the coming One, or do we look for another?” John didn’t ask Jesus to deliver him from his circumstances but he needed to know if Jesus was Who He said He was. On Christmas eve throughout the day as I walked around mom’s room, watching the signs as her body was shutting down, remembering all that I “thought” would happen, how I had interpreted what I “thought” I had heard from the Lord, what I really needed to know was if Jesus was who He says He is.
That night, Patty, her husband, and I, along with some faithful saints were praying in her room, and moments before she passed, her face transformed so beautiful, so soft, her breathing which had been labored all day, became natural and relaxed, and then with a wisp of air, she went from here to glory. We knew in that moment, without a shadow of a doubt that He is Who He says He is. And how appropriate that she went on Christmas eve. It’s the whole reason that He came, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 1:11 He came to give us this hope of glory. To grant to us the inheritance of eternal life through forgiveness of sins. Our hope all through her sickness was never displaced. It was right where it was supposed to be.
I pray that whatever you’re believing God for, that you will see His goodness and His faithfulness. No matter what it looks like, trust in His wisdom. In Luke 7:24, concerning John, Jesus asked the people if they’d went out to see “A reed shaken by the wind?” John was not blown about. He was sure in what God had sent him to do. And apparently Jesus liked that about him because he certainly took time to point it out. Stand. Know that He is God.
God bless you in this New Year and grant you peace.
Your sister in Jesus,