– Inyang Okutinyang
There once lived a senior couple who, right from the time they were young, desired to have a child of their own for years, but life had not been kind to them in this regard. Yet the desire remained strong in them for many years. Until the husband eventually gave up on the idea completely. But how could this be so? After all they were such a godly and upright couple. Why should such good people have to live with the reproach of childlessness? Many would naturally ask or wonder about the fairness of this situation.
However, as it happens, one day, while the man was carrying out his routine religious functions in the Temple where he served as a minister before God on behalf of the people, he was selected seemingly randomly to undertake an important ritual, when, without warning he was startled by the presence of a divine stranger who spoke to him directly about his situation.
Luke 1 (NKJV)
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division,
9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
In fact, the ordinary and seemingly random act of selection was not so ordinary at all, though it seemed so at first. In fact, it was ordained by God. Does your life and days often seem so ordinary and devoid of any intrusion of the divine? Not to worry, if His eye is on the sparrow, and it is, then His eyes are on you and He is with you and watching over you.