I have lots of favorite things. My family, of course. I have a favorite book, a favorite song, a favorite singer, a favorite pair of jeans. There’s my favorite food, my favorite cookie sheets, and my favorite vacation spot. This time of year, sitting in the early morning with my tea and Bible and Christmas tree lights is my favorite thing to do. (It’s what I’m doing right now.) I even have a favorite miracle. Hands down, it would be Jesus. Start to finish…from His birth through His life to His death…Jesus is my favorite miracle!
At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. (excerpts Luke 2)
I have lots of favorite things. My family, of course. I have a favorite book, a favorite song, a favorite singer, a favorite pair of jeans. There’s my favorite food, my favorite cookie sheets, and my favorite vacation spot. This time of year, sitting in the early morning with my tea and Bible and Christmas tree lights is my favorite thing to do. (It’s what I’m doing right now 🙂 )
I even have a favorite miracle. Hands down, it would be Jesus. Start to finish…from His birth through His life to His death and resurrection…Jesus is my favorite miracle!
This time of year, we think a lot about the birth of Jesus, and we should. We decorate to commemorate it. We give gifts to one another in His honor. We take a whole season to celebrate His wonderful birth. But I even have a favorite part of this particular miracle.
Simeon and Anna are my favorite! They are kind of at the end of the story of this miracle, but we are going to begin with the end. Without this end, we may not have had the beginning. Why? They contended for this miracle. They contended in prayer for the birth of the Messiah. (Trust me…we will talk more about contending in prayer later….it’s my favorite! 🙂 )
The Bible doesn’t have much to say about them per se. They were old…or as it refers to Zechariah and Elizabeth in the KJV – well stricken in years! (That always makes me laugh. I may be getting older, but I am certainly not well-stricken yet!)
Simeon was ready to die in peace. I don’t know many youngsters that want to die in peace. How about you? It doesn’t say how long he eagerly awaited the promise of God (sound like trust and faith to anyone else?), but it was likely years.
Anna was 84 years old. Not quite a spring chicken. If she had gotten married at 14 or so like most girls in her day, she would have been around 21 when her husband died. She was still old enough to remarry, yet she didn’t. She committed herself to God’s promise and purpose. She spent those 63 years fasting and praying in the temple for the promise of the Lord. For the coming of Messiah. She contended 63 years for this miracle.
I love the persistent faith of these two. God said it. That’s all that mattered. And they were going to press in and pray until they saw it.
There are some promises from the Word of God that I have seen come to pass in my life – promises of healing and provision and guidance. But there are some promises I have yet to see, especially about His purposes. Oh, I have prayed…and I AM praying…and some of them I have been praying about for years. But that doesn’t mean it’s not working. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop.
God is looking for a people that will take hold of His Word and pray until they see the promise. Not just personally, but for His plans and purposes as well. (There are more promises in the Old Testament about the second coming of Christ than there are about the first coming of Christ.) Just sayin’….
Don’t let go of His promise to you. It’s not about time…it’s about faith, and He is faithful Who promised. We will see it if we don’t let go!
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. (Hebrews 11:11)