“…there was a priest named Zechariah…he was serving as a priest before God…an angel of the Lord appeared…” Luke 1:5-11
We only hear about him at Christmas, but Zechariah should be a yearlong model for us. He was a man who loved God, a man who prayed, a man who struggled with doubt.
When we are discouraged, when we live with the confusion of unanswered prayer, when we feel God is distant, it is easy to remove ourselves from the fellowship of other Christians, to neglect the rituals of the church and put the Bible to one side. And yet Zechariah, whose deepest heart longing was unsatisfied, continued his spiritual duties. How he must have wondered if the God he prayed to in the temple was really a trustworthy God. We know that he doubted God’s promise even when delivered by the angel Gabriel.
During the months of his wife’s pregnancy, Zechariah’s prayers were silent ones. He could only commune with his Heavenly Father in the stillness of his heart, but I believe his long years of faithful service—even when he couldn’t hear God speaking or see God working—provided strength during those silent months.