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Made Mute

This Christmas time, I am grateful that God is still doing some of the same things he did during the first Christmas time. As awe and wonder were found at the first Christmas, they can be found this Christmas. As hope, peace, joy, and love arrived through the coming of Christ, so they can again as we invite him to come into our lives this Christmas.

A few years ago, I experienced in my own life God doing something in me, although admittedly on a smaller scale, that was present in the build-up to the first Christmas.

Zechariah was a priest in the temple who was privileged to enter the holy place to burn the incense. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and while he was there, he met with God. God told him the amazing news that his wife - who had been barren and was now up in years - was going to have a baby. To say that Zechariah was a little skeptical would be an understatement! "Are you sure?" he questions the angel Gabriel. Because of his reluctance to trust God, God made him mute, taking him out of the game until God had accomplished what he needed to.

Several years ago, I was about as exhausted as I had been for a long time. I was run down, tired, and not listening, and I responded to God as clearly as I should have been. I'd developed a slight cough that got worse as the night progressed. I awoke at about Midnight and decided to take some cough medicine, but I overlooked the dosage I was supposed to take because of my sleepiness and the late hour. I took the equivalent of two days' worth of medicine... and spent the next 24 hours unable to do much but stagger back and forth around the house! I was out of it!!! Initially, I was incredibly frustrated by this situation... I had things to do and people to see, and my schedule couldn't afford a day off in bed. But perhaps, in his way (and with the help of my stupidity), God needed to get through to me, taking me out of the game until I let God accomplish what he needed to.

Zechariah's 'time out' allowed him to recalculate and reexamine the state of his heart as he prepared for a huge task ahead. It allowed him to focus on his priorities, remember what was most important, and challenged him to a deeper level of dependence upon God.

While my 'time out' was a little less intense, the break-in schedule allowed me time to recalculate, reexamine and prioritize.

I am grateful that God is, in different ways yet, but through the same Holy Spirit, still working things out for our good and his glory.

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