Which Response Will I Choose?
It’s a new year with new promises and possibilities! I think of all things I want to write and create; so many things I’ve heard God speak to me about. That blog. That story. That novel. That song. I see the visions of what could be, and then I find myself at a crossroads of choosing faith or surrendering to doubt.
As I sit by the warm fire, coffee in hand, the story in Luke Chapter 1 fills my mind. Intrigue over an angel, two chosen people, two promises, and two possible conceptions unfolds. As I read, I feel the questioning of my own heart—am I more like Zechariah, or am I like Mary? And if the time is now, which response will I choose for 2022?
The first character I see is a didn’t-know-it-yet-soon-to-be-father, named Zechariah. He was the priest on-call, whose job was to burn the incense in the temple. As the people were praying and he was busy about his duties, an angel of the Lord appeared to give him a message.
He told him not to be afraid. He told him that his prayer had been heard. It seems that Zechariah had been praying for a child even though he and his wife, Elizabeth, were too old and she had never been able to conceive. The angel even told him to name the child, John, and gave specific details about how John should be raised and how he would live; what his life would hold for God’s kingdom.
In response, Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man, and my wife is along in years.” Seems like an honest response, right? I can relate to the praying, seeking, longing, and desire to conceive and birth my dreams. I can also resonate with hearing the details of my promise—the book title, the message to share, the story to tell—for God’s kingdom. I’m hearing, but how can I be sure?
A little while later, Mary is also visited by an angel of the Lord, who says to her, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you...do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
Mary too asks a question of the angel, “How will this be since I am a virgin? She then follows it up with, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”
At first glance it looks like they both were doubtful on how such promises could be fulfilled, considering their realities—one being old age, the other having never been with a man to get pregnant. Life had given them both challenges and truths to consider, and, yet, God had spoken.
This got me thinking about my life and the things I believe God has spoken to me about. In this case, specially about my writing assignments and the books I will birth. The stories I will tell, and the messages He wants me to share with others. Maybe it wasn’t through an angel, but I know He spoke, whether through His Word, through another person, or in tangible circumstances and creative ways that gave me glimpses of His plan for me.
At a foundational level, I know He invited me to write. Write anything. Write everything. Take the next step. Believe what He showed me in the quiet places. Bring them to life. Write because I sense deep within that God gave me a story to tell. To share what He has done for me. To boldly put it all out there for others to read, watch, or listen to, so they can be encouraged, comforted, and touched by God through the words I share.
As we go into the next year and hear God leading us to write, will we choose to respond like Zechariah, with doubt and unbelief because we are focused on the challenges? Will we think more about, how will I ever get that book out when I’m (fill in the blank) too old, don’t have time, don’t have the resources, feel discouraged, or don’t believe I can? Or when we hear that the time is now—to write, edit, or maybe even publish, will we choose to have the heart of Mary, and believe that in the midst of the challenges, we can confidently say about our writing dreams and promises, “Let it be for me as you have shown me and spoken so many times before. For Lord, I know you are able, and your word never fails.”
Happy writing and creating this year! The time is now to say yes to God, yes to your story, yes to believing that with God all things are possible, and you can finish what you started.
Have fun and enjoy the process; we are cheering you on! KWA
Happy New Year!
Rikah Thomas 😊
“Inspiring hearts and minds with words and art.”
KWA Vision Lead