Lamentations 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the
To wait quietly for the Lord does not mean we will never ask Him questions. Parents, how many of you have taken your children on a trip? And invariably, haven't they, during the trip, asked you, "Daddy, where are we going?" Or, "Mommy, how soon before we get there?"
The Bible talks about a young girl who was given a promise from the Lord and wasn't afraid to ask a question. Luke 1:34: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" This young girl, Mary, had just been visited by the angel Gabriel and was given the promise of all promises, that she was the one chosen to give birth to Jesus, the Messiah.
Now if we had been there and had heard her ask that question, our faces might have been aghast. “Mary, what were you thinking? You were just given a promise from God; an angel is standing before you. What more proof do you need? You're not supposed to question it. You don't know anything about walking by faith.” Apparently she asked that question out of innocent, teen-age curiosity because, in the very next verse, the angel explained to her exactly how it would be done. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
I’m inclined to believe that Mary did not fully understand Gabriel’s explanation. (Maybe she didn’t understand any of it.) But that’s not important; what is important is that she believed it. “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
Yet six months earlier, a man named Zacharias was paid a visit by the same angel, Gabriel, and was given the promise that his wife, now well past child-bearing years, would give birth to the forerunner of the Messiah. He posed a question as well. Luke 1:18: “Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years” This time, however, this question was met with a rebuke. Gabriel told him he would not be able to speak until after the baby was born because “thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season” (Luke 1:20).
The stories of Mary and Zacharias have a number of similarities. Each one was paid a visit by the angel Gabriel. Each one was given a promise regarding miraculous child birth. And each of them asked a question. But Mary's question was answered, while Zacharias' question was used against him. Why was that?
Apparently, it was not the question itself that got Zacharias into trouble, but the spirit in which he asked it. According to Gabriel, he asked it in unbelief. There was the essence of hopelessness in his question. In his mind, if he had not sired an offspring by now, he never would.
Waiting quietly before the Lord does not mean that we are not allowed to ask Him questions. But we must be fully aware that God knows the spirit in which we ask them. And we must reconcile ourselves to the fact that God is not obligated to always answer our questions to our satisfaction. In short, to wait quietly before the Lord means that we submit ourselves before Him, whether He answers our questions or not, or whether He answers them to our satisfaction.
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