“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’” (Luke 1:13-17)
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had been praying for a son for nearly seven decades. They had been waiting longer than most people would for an answer to a prayer, but their waiting proved to be worth it when God appeared to Zechariah and promised him that Elizabeth was going to have a son. But this wasn’t just any child. This child was going to grow up to be someone who would be forever remembered because of the influence he had on history.
God more than answered their prayer. He didn’t just give them what they asked for. He gave them something even better than what they had asked for. He said their son would be filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb. He would never know a day when he did not have the Spirit of God. He would lead many in Israel to turn back to the Lord.
God does not always do what we want Him to do, when we want Him to do it, but when He does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, it is what we would have wanted all along. So whenever we’re praying for something, let’s not put God in a box. Instead, let’s pray that God would not just give us what we want, but that He would give us His best, which always seems to be above and beyond anything we could have asked for or imagined.
Dear God, how grateful I am that you hear my prayers and that you always answer. Even when the answer isn’t exactly what I want, I know that I can trust you to give me your best. Help me to want your will over my will, and give me the eyes to see the blessings you give me that are so far beyond what I could ever ask for. Amen.