When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
David sat by me at lunch at my new school. After talking awhile, he agreed to teach me how to play the piano, if I would teach him how to “break dance.” We were in junior high in the early eighties and I was new to the district so I didn’t know very many people. Soon after this arrangement was made, a kid challenged me to a “dance off” in the cafeteria. I held my own doing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” without a hitch and all of a sudden I was the man.
Right around the same time I went to chorus one day a little earlier than normal. I witnessed the most amazing display of piano talent I had ever seen. That little white kid I had been sitting by at lunch could play! Well, you know how it is. You want what you don’t have; so he wanted to dance and I wanted to play the piano. Since dancing came natural to me, I thought it would be easy to teach David. Not so! And since playing the piano was second nature to David, he thought I would pick it up with no problem. Wrong again! When I would explain how to make a certain move and then demonstrate it, David’s eyes would just glass over. He had no clue. And I was the same when it came to piano. We would both just lock up, afraid to act for fear of failure. Why? The plan to accomplish our goals was not yet clear to either one of us. Each of us felt like we were staring at a “freak of nature.”
There is no doubt in my mind that I could have learned the basics of piano and David could have mastered some dance moves had we stayed at it and overcome our fear. This is valuable insight into how to respond to God’s “outrageous” directions for your life. Zechariah was serving in the temple of the Lord. But he got scared when an angel of the Lord showed up with an answer to a prayer that stemmed from a desire of his heart that he had long forgotten he prayed.
Our Father is funny like that; He doesn’t forget our prayers, but He doesn’t follow our time. We don’t have to be taken aback or afraid of His plan. He promises to grant wisdom and insight to all who ask (James 1:5). So if you have something strange staring you in the face today you didn’t see coming, don’t panic. You’ve got the answer right there in front of you. And when you’ve got a Daddy, you’ve got no worries. In due time, rest assured, He will make His plan as clear as day.
Suggested Biblical Meditation: Luke 1 and James 1