December 19, 2007
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
By Melanie Rigney
“You are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth.” (Psalms 71:5)
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John.’” (Luke 1:13)
Lord, I know you hear my prayers. Please give me the patience to wait for your answers...and the wisdom to accept them.
If you’re not familiar with the work of my dear friend and writing group
buddy Virelle Kidder, you should be. In fact, she has a terrific new book coming out in January: Meet Me at the Well: Take a Month and Water Your Soul (Moody).
I thought of Virelle when I read Luke’s story of Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband. He ended up, “by lot” we are told, burning incense in the
sanctuary during a time when it was his turn to serve as priest. But as we know, things involving God seldom happen “by lot.” The angel Gabriel foretold Zechariah of Elizabeth’s pregnancy and John the Baptist’s birth. How many times Zechariah and Elizabeth must have hoped and prayed for a child over the years! But instead of accepting the news with joy, Zechariah questioned God’s messenger, citing the couple’s ages. In response, Gabriel struck him speechless until the angel’s words were fulfilled.
Virelle tells a story of a time that out of some frustration, she wrote a list of “Ten Impossible Prayers.” A year later, the list fell out of her Bible...appropriately, while she was on her knees. Seven of the prayers had been answered in that time, in just one year.
I have personal evidence that the Lord answers Virelle’s prayers. Back on June 21, 2005, she prayed that I find my way back to Christ. Six months later, I received the Eucharist for the first time in thirty-five years. He’s answered more of my prayers than I can count, before and since that time, prayers I sometimes didn’t even know I was sending up. My acceptance within the Cursillo community is one of those answered prayers. A continuing relationship with Virelle, my friend and sister in Christ, is another.
We can become so impatient with the Lord. We have a problem, and in this world of instant gratification, we want the solution NOW. It is only when we gain perspective—and faith—that we can look back and say, “Yes! He DID answer my prayer! He DID hear me!” Let us be mindful of his might, and turn our worries over to him in prayer, confident he will answer in the fullness and richness of time.
Write down your single greatest problem today, and put it in your Bible... and stop worrying and fretting about it. Let God do the rest on his timetable.