“But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
God’s people had waited for thousands of years for the Messiah before He arrived. The Bible tells of one special woman—one very old woman—who also waited. This woman had a sad story. Though she had married, her husband died after only seven years of marriage. In those days, widows had it tough. They were some of the most vulnerable people in society. By the time Jesus is born, this prophetess—Anna—was eighty-four years old, a veritable ancient for that time period. Anna spent her time worshiping at the temple, fasting and praying, worshiping day and night. And then, after all those years of waiting, God blessed her with the opportunity to meet the young Savior. God in flesh. Jesus, the infant King. The Bible tells us that after meeting the child, she told all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem about Him. God still had work for her to do, even in her senior years!
In today’s world, we see people who believe their time is in their hands. Yet the Psalmist says: “My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:15) Death is out of our hands. God is the one who decides when life begins and when it ends. We may face many trials, many sorrows. Jesus, Who came to live on this earth as God in the flesh, understands our feelings of helplessness. He faced death. He died for you and for me. And His resurrection confirms that we will rise, too. Death can’t hold us back. We are baptized children of God! He has called you by name; you are His! Through all the troubles and trials of life, God is with us. And when He calls us home, our lives here will come to an end and we will live with Him in His kingdom forever! That’s worth waiting for!
Prayer: Heavenly King, You know that this life is not always easy. How we thank You and praise You that You are with us each step of the way! Thank You for calling us to be Your children through our baptism. Thank You that You use us in Your kingdom, whatever our age, ability, or social status. We long for the day when You will take us to be with You forever. Our times are in Your hands. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.