“You did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time” (Luke 1:20).
Faith assures us that anything is possible with God, and the Catechism teaches that, “God, who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God’s power is loving, for He is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it is made perfect in weakness.” (Catechism, Para. 268)
But faith doesn’t always come easy, as Zechariah discovered. He and Elizabeth had spent their lives childless; Elizabeth was barren and now they were old, so any hope of a child had gone forever and their prayers remained unanswered.
Or so it seemed.
A message of incredible hope was delivered to Zechariah by the Angel Gabriel, “Your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John” (Luke 1:13). But Zechariah didn’t believe and his doubt became a lesson in faith after he was made speechless.
In time, Zechariah accepted the Angel’s message as truth and God’s promise was fulfilled. Zechariah was given a son who was great and whose name would restore his speech and change his and Elizabeth’s lives, and the lives of the children of Israel forever!
How often do we pray for what we think is impossible then doubt we’ll ever receive an answer, especially one as extraordinary as Zechariah’s? We lean toward uncertainty when our situation seems hopeless—but it’s only hopeless to us. What seemed hopeless to Zechariah was accomplished with the help of an angel, God’s grace and Zechariah’s ultimate trust and faith.
Like Zechariah, we must trust in God’s loving power and believe that He will exceed our expectations in time. Zechariah’s muteness taught us that our prayers will only be answered in fullness when we believe.