76 And  you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on  before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78  because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will  come to us from heaven

1:75-78 (NIV)

Yesterday, I did not post a blog. Like most parents in America, I  spent a little extra time holding my children. I do not know what it is like to  lose a child in a terrible act of violence, but I do know what it is like to  lose a child. On August 2, 2010, my third child died at two months of age. We  had prayed for her from the moment I knew I was pregnant. We spent time seeking  the Lord about her life. We had hopes and dreams of all that she would do. When  someone loses a child, they lose moments of bedtime stories and big bear hugs,  they lose precious time they thought they'd have, and they lose what of might have  been but never was. 

During the years Elizabeth spent barren, she and Zachariah  probably mourned the children they never had. Now, God had given them hope and  they rejoiced in their newborn son and the future God had planned for him.  Zachariah already had a vision of what John the Baptist's life would be like, as he announced in these verses. He already had dreams that he expected would come true for his son. He may not have known how much time John would spend in the  wilderness. He may not have known John would spend time in prison. He may not  have known John would be beheaded. However, Zachariah did know that John would  prepare the way for Lord. After years of longing for a child and giving up any hope, now Zachariah had a child and great hopes and dreams for his child’s future.

All of us can relate a being in some kind of “hopeless”  situation. Some circumstances seem so dark that we cannot see a possible path  out. None of can change the past. Some dreams could have faded from our lives.  We cannot bring back those who have died, but God can give us hope for tomorrow.  We can always wake up and say, “Lord, just get me through today.” When we get  through enough days, we can start to see the light of God’s hope through even the darkest of circumstances.

 Please, join me in praying for all the families who lost a loved  one in the tragic events that took place yesterday. Especially, let’s pray for  the parents whose children did not come home from school, and the children who  lost siblings and friends.

 The next reading is Luke  1:79.


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