Oh that day.
No matter what circumstances come my way,
I will never forget that day.
The lot to offer incense finally fell to me;
Me, a priest advanced in years.
I could hardly believe that stunning decree,
But I heard my name loud and clear.
All at once, I had two thoughts:
One, God had extended mercy to me, His servant.
And two, this was the encouragement we sought—
Elizabeth’s faithful prayers had been so fervent.
But I must confess
The day did not go as I’d guessed.
As I entered all alone
A bright light appeared,
And my heart turned to stone
My eyes blinded by utter fear.
This is how my days will end
(or so I thought),
Then I heard what I could not comprehend.
This terrifying being knew my name,
And spoke to me. Was I going insane?
“Your prayers have been heard. You will have a son.”
A son? No. That dream had long passed
That part of our lives? That hope was done.
Yet his speech went on—everything happened so fast.
Not only did he know my name, but Elizabeth’s too.
He promised joy at our son’s birth
And gave instructions to guide this life of great worth.
He’d turn hearts of disobedience to the One who is true.
He’d be filled with the Spirit and walk in Elijah’s power.
After 400 years…was this the Messiah’s hour?
Not only did doubt creep into my heart
But dismay and disbelief would not depart.
From my view, this couldn’t be possible,
So I declared what I thought probable.
“I am old and so is my wife,
Can’t you see?
How could this come true in my life,
How could this possibly be?”
My words were rude and rash.
My fear had made me brash.
“I stand in the presence of the Almighty One.
You question not my ability but His.
You will indeed be gifted a son
But until then, your words will be none.
God’s promises are true
And His timing is never overdue.”
And just as quickly as he came, He was gone.
My mind filled with a thousand thoughts—
Had I really been in the wrong?
I felt both hopeful and distraught.
And just as he said, I could not speak.
My people understood I had seen a vision,
I felt confused and weak.
If all was to be as he decreed,
Would Elizabeth believe this wondrous provision?
I bring my angst to the LORD,
My tears bellow.
And my God hears me.
When everything is hopelessly heavy,
I look for His hand, but I cannot seem to find it.
I cry out all night without ceasing
(Aren’t we told to pray without ceasing?)
But I’m met with the imprisonment of my fears.
I ache for freedom, only to find bars of worry.
I strain to think of who my God is,
But I feel weak and utterly confused.
He is the One that gives breath,
Yet I have not the strength to utter a word.
I remember the days of seasons past.
The treasured truths I used to sing on dark nights
Are now transposed to a somber tune.
I’ve uncovered a hidden refrain,
I tremble to voice these words laced with pain.
Is the LORD disappointed in me?
Has He shut off His kindness?
Does He no longer see me?
Does He no longer care?
Have I failed so poorly that His love and grace no longer extend?
Will my fears be met with unending silence?
Will this night never end?
Stop. Soul, remember the mighty and majestic deeds of my God.
Your wonders, O God, know no bounds.
Your rescue of our people is threaded throughout our history.
Your ways are pure and untainted by our sin.
No idol can compare with Your Sovereign power.
You make the unimaginable come to life,
Display strength across the skies, and
Restore Your people, time and time again.
When the waters saw Your face,
They feared You.
The dark sea recognizes Your voice.
At Your command, the clouds follow Your direction
To guide Your people and guard against their foes.
The cracks of thunder and arrows of lighting show
Creation is at Your beck and call.
Your path is not peaceful
But a plunge into the mighty depths,
Without a wake to be traced.
Still, Your people are never misplaced.
By Your kindness, You led through men like Moses and Aaron, mere mortals like me.
You always mark the way for Your people to be free.
A new day begins.
The question is,
Who will win?
The battle is fierce
At the end of the day
I wonder — will I stand?
Will I hold fast to His commands?
Or with I fall
With no hope at all?
But this is not just my fight,
Nor do I stand by my might.
Every day I have a chance
To stand in the shadow of His holiness.
The Belt of Truth is firm,
Reminding me of what is, not what if’s.
The Breastplate of Righteousness protects my soul
For only by His love am I made whole.
The Shoes of the Gospel guard every step I take
For this journey is for His name’s sake.
The Shield of Faith protects me with His grace,
Repelling the drought of doubt
With the promise of His power.
The Helmet of Salvation preserves my mind.
His shepherding presence reminds me Whose I am.
The Sword of the Spirit strikes in all-knowing integrity,
His candor and conviction refine my heart.
And the persistence of prayer threads together each and every piece.
For this is His fight.
I stand in His might.
I bring all of who I am to the Creator.
To my King, the One in whom I find true confidence.
Don’t let me be disappointed by what You decree.
Don’t let the lies and deceit of my demons take the upper hand.
Surely You replace disappointment with unrelenting hope.
Those who look to their own savior will always be left wanting.
Don’t leave me to my own devices. Direct me in Your footsteps.
Push and pull me until I walk in step with Your kind shadow.
Shepherd me with Your faithfulness, for You alone can mold me in truth.
Call to mind Your promise of compassion and deeds of unchanging love, my King, for they have been established long ago.
Call not to mind my failures, the days I followed lesser rulers and sought futile treasures.
By the decree of Your kindness and law of relentless love, see me as Your own kin.
Pure and trustworthy is this King,
That is why He schools the feeble in His ways.
He trains those who know they are lost without Him.
He guides those who are willing to follow Him without abandon.
Every byway and passage He opens, down to the last faint trail,
Are His avenues of grace, to those who cling to and live by His promises.
For the reputation of Your title,
Declare me free from the weight of my sins.
For only when man sees the unparalleled character of the King’s kind authority
Will He unveil the next right step.
All of who he is will be sheltered by His protection,
And his family shall dwell in security.
The secret counsel of the King is for those who cherish and revere His rule,
To those He divulges the depths of His promises.
My gaze is forever fixed on the King.
He will provide a bridge for every barricade.
My King, see me. Show me Your tender care.
For I am on the island of melancholy and misery.
The anguish of my soul swells.
Reclaim my heart.
Give attention to the distress of my trials,
And pardon each and every one of my failures.
Give attention to my adversaries.
They despise me and want to see me fail.
Preserve and protect my heart.
Don’t let me be disappointed, for I am putting all my confidence in You.
I watch for Your arrival.
Revoke our wanderings and replace our fears with the joy of Your presence.
No matter what comes my way
I cannot stop trying.
Trying to be
I am not enough.
But that is precisely why Jesus came.
More powerful than any doubt,
More dazzling than any treasure,
More intelligent than any plan.
It is not about trying but trusting
For He is enough.
“Therefore since we have justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
No matter what I do
I end up hurting or being hurt,
If anyone could see the true color of my heart
They would turn a cold shoulder and never look back.
But Jesus never turned His back.
He faced betrayal so I could know acceptance.
He became broken so my heart could be made whole.
He loved me to the end so I can love others without end.
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10
My heart is made of stone.
Will the fears of my soul always have control?
Not if I give control to You.
You remove the stone and replace it with joyful obedience.
Now I can follow You in
With a heart full of hope.
I’m no longer paralyzed by “what if’s” but comforted by what is.
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
I can’t get out,
The trap of my sin enslaves me.
Every inch forward brings two steps back.
I cannot beat this master.
But Jesus can.
He became the very sin I hate to set me free.
He abolished slavery, giving me not just hope,
But a home.
I forever have a seat at the Father’s table,
Because my Savior Jesus welcomes me.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…” Galatians 3:13
“For I know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.” I Peter 1:18
At the sixth-month mark, there was no hiding it,
Everyone could tell I was with child.
I was nervous to go out, I admit.
Some women clapped and smiled,
Others looked confused and surprised
(their faces made me laugh just a bit).
I cherished those five months alone, but—
I realized others needed to see
Yahweh’s faithfulness wasn’t just for me.
And while I received encouragement from friends
No one could quite relate until—
Until Mary walked through my door.
Then my soul began to celebrate.
I was not alone in the blessing I bore!
The greatness of this story was about to extend,
And at the sound of sweet Mary’s voice,
The son in my womb kicked and rejoiced.
It’s hard to put into words
Because I know it sounds a little absurd.
But in that instant, I knew,
My son would prepare the way for the One Mary bore
Our people’s hope was about to come true.
God chose another unlikely woman
To receive His undeserved favor.
I reveled in His kindness once again.
As this mystery unfolded, her faith never wavered.
The three months she stayed in my care
I count as precious memories without compare.
It was almost as if she was my own,
A daughter who needed comfort in the unknown.
Many wouldn’t understand,
Undoubtedly, rumors would grow secondhand,
But I cherished hearing her recount the news
of the most heavenly meeting
And the grace-filled greeting,
Which no one could refuse.
The Son of the Most High
Would be born to the Jews.
Yahweh both heard and answered our cries.
Mary’s faith challenged my own
Reciting prophets, covenants, and psalmists,
The Word formed her very backbone.
And her countenance was calmest
When she sang her praise-filled song.
God’s purpose had been there all along.