If I were to be in a confessing mood, I would tell you that I am an impatient person. I’m not especially good at waiting. If something is going to happen anyway, I would just as soon have it happen right now.
What that means is that I’m not always going to be comfortable with the way that God works.
God’s promises always come true – but, sometimes, His promises don’t come true quickly. At times, God promised His people rescue. They knew that He would be faithful – but they also knew that they would be required to wait. At other times, God promised that He would grant healing. And His promise was as good as done – but His people knew that they would be required to wait. God even promised that He would send a Savior. And that promise (though repeated often) was followed by generations of waiting.
In our reading today, Zechariah receives a message from God. It is a very detailed message with very specific information. The news, in fact, is so startling that Zechariah has trouble believing it. And the price for his disbelief is silence until the promise is fulfilled.
That’s the heart of the story – but notice the angel’s final word to Zechariah. Gabriel says, “My words will come true . . . at their proper time” (Luke 1:20). Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of that verse is beautiful: “Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time – God’s time.”
Despite my impatience, I am actually willing to wait when I am certain that the outcome is sure. Certain that the outcome is sure – that’s a good way to respond every time God makes a promise.