by Sandra Heska King
I’ve been reading this week about Zachariah in Luke 1.
He draws the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve behind the curtains.
The greatest day of his life.
He’s gone a long time though, and the people outside get concerned.
Not to worry. He’s just back there in the holy of holies talking to Gabriel about a discarded dream.
And he’s having a little trouble reclaiming it.
Because the years have passed, and he’s pretty old.
When he finally stumbles out, the people are relieved and a good bit stunned.
Zachariah’s trembling, his eyes are big as discuses, and he’s hyperventilating.
It’s pretty obvious he’s had some kind of vision, but he can’t articulate it because he’s been struck speechless.
He’s lost his voice.
All he can do is try to act it out Charades-like, make some signs, but there’s no way he can fully express what he’s seen and heard.
When his service is over, he goes home to his wife to try and tell her it’s never too late to resurrect the dream.
He’s plunged into silence for nine months plus.
Did he write during those times or let the words smolder as he watched the dream grow?
Did he wonder at how God not only heard his prayer from the beginning, but answered it at the right time in His time and far beyond what Zachariah would have ever expected?
Would he in his wildest thoughts ever have conceived that he would be the father of the forerunner of the Messiah?
When the child is brought for circumcision, the friends and relatives call him Zachariah, but Elizabeth corrects them.
So they make signs to Zachariah to ask him what he wants the baby named.
(That they made signs makes me giggle a little since he was mute, not deaf.)
And as soon as Zachariah puts stylus to tablet to write, “His name is to be John,” the most beautiful words, a song, pours from his mouth.
He’s found his voice.
As a writer, I can take away several thoughts from this story.
1. If we walk with God, He plants His desires in our hearts. That includes the desire to write.
2. He cares about our dreams and hears our prayers.
3. We are never too old to realize the dream.
4. But we may have to live a lot of life before we’re ready to realize it.
5. We will realize that dream at the right time, in God’s time, but it may not be in the way we expected. In fact, it may be way better.
6. That we need not become discouraged or afraid when it seems we’ve lost our voice.
7. That sometimes a period of silence can make our voice even richer when the silence is broken.
Have you ever lost your voice or discarded your dream?
Sandra Heska King is a wife, mom, grandma, and a nurse. Her great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were both lumberjacks, and she grew up on Paul Bunyan stories. Today she lives in the same 150-year-old farmhouse where her husband grew up. She is currently working on an historical novel set in Michigan in the early 1900s.