Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good people, with a tear in their eye and a tear in their soul...

They were good.
He was in ministry. She a good person and a good wife.
They loved each other, and happily settled into the roles and responsibilities of married life.
God. Family. Church. Work. Community.
Life rolled on - except no kids.
They went to the doctor.
Took tests.
Tried things, conventional and unconventional.
Mostly they prayed. "God, you made us. Couples all around us are having babies. Could you please give us the desire of our hearts?"
No answer.
They went forward to be prayed for.
They took fertility pills.
Still no answer.

Their prayer never was answered.

Certain events were harder than others. Fathers Day. Mothers Day. Invitations to showers. First their friends. As the years rolled by, then it was the children of their friends.

They arrived at old age, trying to be polite when all their friends pulled out the grandchild pictures, and raved about how great it was to be a grand parent. It was a joy they would never know.

Why, God? Why?

No answer.
They were good people.
With a tear in their eye...
And a tear in their soul...
Here is the story, as told by doctor Luke.
5 -7During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
8 -12It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
13 -15But the angel reassured him, "Don't fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You're going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He'll achieve great stature with God.
15 -17"He'll drink neither wine nor beer. He'll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother's womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God's arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he'll get the people ready for God."
18Zachariah said to the angel, "Do you expect me to believe this? I'm an old man and my wife is an old woman."
19 -20But the angel said, "I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won't believe me, you'll be unable to say a word until the day of your son's birth. Every word I've spoken to you will come true on time—God's time."
21 -22Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Zachariah was getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn't speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people.
23 -25When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn't long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. "So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!" she said.

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