Have you ever been in complete darkness? Imagine being surrounded by people, stuck in a place without light. Suddenly, you hear a cry, an announcement of hope; Light is on the way, it’s coming! How would you feel in that moment?
Isaiah 9:2 says,
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
In Isaiah’s prophecy, written 700 years before Jesus’ birth, the Light is Jesus. Luke 1 reveals the preparations that were being made for His arrival. With Elizabeth, never able to bear children in her youth, Zechariah asked God for what seemed the impossible in his old age: a child. God sent Gabriel, not just to answer a prayer, but to proclaim a miracle. The Lord had responded, and with a greater plan. Zechariah’s miraculous son would prepare the people for the arrival of the Light.
This child wasn’t named by his earthly father, but by his Heavenly Father. John’s name means God is gracious, and with his life, God’s grace through Jesus would be announced to people everywhere.
Even though the angel Gabriel himself came, Zechariah had difficulty believing. He saw the challenges of age and circumstance, and wondered if they could be overcome. As a sign of God’s power, Zechariah was struck speechless by the angel, Gabriel. Until God’s words were fulfilled and the child was born, Zechariah had to remain silent and consider the power of God and the promise he had been given.
Zechariah’s final words to Gabriel were a question of physical limitations. But God is able to do the impossible. He isn’t limited by the difficulties or circumstances of this world, and His message overcomes every barrier. Though the people were in darkness, the Light was coming, and He would show us the way of salvation.
Have you asked God to answer a prayer in the midst of difficulty or hopelessness? Do you think there are limitations on how God works and what He is able to do?