Devotional

Shut my mouth

“There is no one among your relatives that has this name.”  

 

“What, then will this child be?”

 

The Gospel according to Luke

In the gospel stories, I identify most with Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. I hear God, am close to God, know God in my deepest soul, even in places and parts that I didn’t know existed before I found Christ. I have always felt close to the infinite universe, God’s creation. And the temple, it had always been a great comfort to me which I have found so deeply and fruitful on a kneeler before the blessed sacrament, the presence of God. And like Zechariah I have feared God in a holy and reverent way while at the same time not believing Him. How can someone, how can we be so close to God while not believing Him?

There is not a minute or a second that I don’t feel Him or know He’s close, when I don’t believe He is real. I know He is by the virtue of the fact that I am still alive, and moving and being and feeling. And my prayer closet has become a place of refuge for my innermost thoughts and worship to the one who saved me.

So when Zechariah is silenced for not believing, it is a hard dichotomy to swallow. The one who loves God and serves Him. The one who is committed to Him. The one who is visited by an angel who tells him his wife Elizabeth will bear a son, the moment he has been waiting for, the prayer he has prayed a thousand times. I can see my face the same, the moment I’ve prayed for, an opening, a light, and I stand there like Zechariah questioning, not believing that God would actually answer THAT prayer. The one I’ve prayed forever, the song in my heart. 

He is silenced and I can only imagine uses that time to draw closer to God in preparation for the birth of John. And he knows in his heart this child is the Lord’s and will change things. He knows this child isn’t just any child, he will be the precursor to God himself. I imagine not even nine months would be enough time in silent prayer to ingest all of that… What seems like a curse at first read is actually a blessing, one that I discovered through reflective reading and meditation. When God shuts our mouths for our own good. Because we don’t believe Him. Because we need more time with him in silence, away from the world, away from it all. There is a necessary and holy preparation that must go on inside our souls when God is birthing something extraordinary. If we don’t believe it will happen, what then is the point to asking God at all…

We can love God, serve God, reverence Him, call Him holy, be kind and loving and lovely to all we meet, but at the core of all that we are, how do we do all these things if we just don’t believe Him?

After recently coming out of a Zechariah shut -my- mouth God time, I emerged like the butterfly, renewed, understanding, not yet able to open my mouth, but waiting on God’s answer to my prayers.

I will be different. I am different. Our paths and journeys are different. The answers and our questions are different.

“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

Luke 1:57-66

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Shut my mouth

  1. Two things occur to me in this story of Zechariah. The first is my own time of silence, which I have been so grateful for. I have come closer to the Lord and become so much more familiar with His voice because I have learned to listen in the silence.

    The second is I have learned to shut out the voices of family, church leaders and “friends” who judge or tell me I’m wrong or attempt to lay a guilt trip on me for not being who they they I should be or doing what they think I should do.

    I have become comfortable abiding in Him, and peaceful knowing He abides in me. And His is the One whose opinion I value over all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree with that statement. It’s exactly how I was feeling for a long time. I have learned what a benefit the silence is, especially when God is trying to tell you something and His voice is being drowned out by the people who claim to know His plan over your life.
      It brings me back to the scripture in this post, when everyone was “shocked” that they were naming the boy John and not Zechariah, even though they were probably aware that that’s what God told the couple to name the boy. It shows how strong Zechariah became after a long silence, and able to follow the Lord, even when nobody else supported him and Elizabeth.

      Like

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