Have you ever felt overlooked or forgotten? Perhaps it seems like God is distant and doesn’t hear your countless prayers. Maybe it feels like nobody knows how you feel, or like the world is against you, and when people mention God, you can’t help but wonder if He really has a plan.
Sometimes in life, things don’t go as we expect. We don’t get the dream job, a close friend moves away, or our love is not reciprocated. Perhaps we think that God has forgotten us.
I’m here to tell you that God remembers.
In Luke 1, we are told about a married couple: Zechariah and Elizabeth. They are old, and Elizabeth is barren.
Is it possible that Elizabeth may have felt forgotten? The Bible says that she and Zechariah “were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly,” (Luke 1:6b). Elizabeth followed God, and still she was barren. When she hadn’t had a child in her earlier years, she could have become angry and bitter, but she didn’t. Instead of blaming God, she continued to serve Him faithfully. When she was old, so old in fact that when the angel told Zechariah that she would have a baby, Zechariah asked, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years,” (Luke 1:18b).
Their expected time for child-rearing had passed, and things hadn’t gone according to plan, but Zechariah and Elizabeth still served the Lord. Then, when the time was right, God blessed them with a very special baby. As the angel said when telling Zechariah about the forthcoming birth:
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name 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…And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” (Luke 1:13b-15a, 17).
Wow! After years of praying, to the point at which Zechariah thought it was too late, God gave the answer to their prayers: a baby. Five months into her pregnancy, Elizabeth said, “The Lord has done this for me…In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people,” (Luke 1:25).
God’s timing is perfect. Although it didn’t happen when they expected, God answered the couple’s prayers. He had something special in store for them–something beyond their expectations. He knew the right time to send John into the world, the birth of whom coordinated with the coming of Jesus. John, the baby given to Zechariah and Elizabeth, prepared people for Jesus.
Today, when I was researching Zechariah, I found his name means, “Yah (in long form Yahweh) remembered,” (Holeman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 1701).
No matter where you’re at in life, know that God remembers. He sees you, knows you, and loves you. He is a God who keeps His promises, and nothing is impossible with Him. He can make a path in the wilderness, shine light in the darkness, and overcome any obstacle. Keep trusting and following Him, even when things aren’t going the way you expected. God has a plan, and as you follow His lead, He will direct your steps. Keep loving, trusting, and obeying. His love is unfailing.