God keeps His promises

All his life he carried the promise, the promise that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. He was getting very old and sometimes he wondered if he had misunderstood the promise. What if he had been wrong? He had told others about the promise. What if he would be the cause of others’ unbelief because of his misunderstanding? If he were wrong and died before the Messiah came, others may fall away. He surely didn’t want that! He prayed for reassurance.

I know this feeling of thinking you may have missed God about an issue. I know about waiting and waiting and waiting and nothing happening…or so it seems. Andree Seu wrote a wonderful editorial in this week’s World magazine about Living in the Middle. I quote her,

“But what I was thinking is that the slowness of things in nature—and in the supernatural—makes for strange earthly phenomena. Things appear the opposite of their true condition for a while.”

She was talking about how slowly it sometimes takes for little sins to be punished so it looks to us like evil is winning. Conversely, how slowly a good seed sprouts and since it takes time for the plant to come into view we think there is nothing happening. Andree says we live in the middle, between the act and the consequence or reward. We are living in the gestation period–the time of growing. She warns us not to misinterpret the middles. What He has promised will come to pass: for good and for evil.

So Simeon is an old man. His life is being lived in the middle: between the time the promise was made to him and the time of its fulfillment. It’s been a long time, humanly speaking. Luke says Simeon was a devote man and the Holy Spirit was on him. It was an ordinary morning like any other morning, but the Spirit urged Simeon to go to the temple. At that moment, Joseph and Mary were bringing 8-day-old Jesus for his circumcision. When Simeon saw the little family he took baby Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now your servant can depart in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all people. A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of your people, Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

Eileen Vincent, a fervent intercessor and expository Bible teacher, said that Simeon’s declaration brought thousands of years of the word into the present that day. He caused the word to be fulfilled by speaking it out so that others could pick up on it. Anna, the prophetess, was there and she began to give thanks for the redeemer and “spoke of him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem”. (Luke 2:38b). Of all who needed Simeon’s words, though, I think Mary was most important. She was a young girl who had just had a baby even though she “knew no man”. (Luke 1:34) She was living in the middle. Along the way, God sent people to encourage Mary: first it was Joseph, then Elizabeth, the shepherds and now, Simeon proclaiming her baby was the Messiah.

After such a long wait, sometimes we will miss the fulfillment of a promise. Only those who are “tuned in” to receive it will see it. I don’t think the priest performing the circumcision thought he was circumcising any special baby, but Simeon knew!

Walking with Him this Wednesday with Ann’s community,

Dawn

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12 comments on “God keeps His promises

  1. Dawn, I just loved this, especially today. I was just speaking with someone about hurts and disappointments, and she brought up how Mary must have felt after being told she was carrying the Messiah, then had to give birth in a dirty old stable. And, to top it off, the host of angels sang for the shepherds, not for Mary. Her world was silent, dirty, painful, and away from those she loved.

    And being between things? Are we, as Christians, in between, too??? We have a promise of His return, yet we wait. We look back and cling to the promise and we look forward waiting for that day to come.

    Not to misinterpret the middles. I LOVE that. And I love Simeon. I can just see the light in his eyes and the smile on his face as his “middle” came to pass.
    I had never thought of his words being such an encouragement and confirmation for Mary’s heart. Thank you for such a beautiful post. I just loved this today!

    • Dear Cora,

      I saw your post over at Craig’s and I was so happy you got beyond my title. ;^) This was definitely God’s post. He just guided me from one thing to another so smoothly and I had no real plan, but as HIS plan materialized I was so blessed. I had several ah-ha moments as He nudged me along. I needed to see that someone as central to the faith as Mary had witnesses all along her journey. That was so very encouraging to me. I’m not a still-small-voice kind a girl, but rather a hit-me-over-the-head-with-a-board one. Dense, very dense (and hard of hearing) so this post was as much for me as for anyone. I am so happy it blessed you. You always bless me so I was happy to be able to return the favor, dear Sister.

      Oh, and once again, praises to the King of Kings for the good check-up! I bet that was quite a middle, wasn’t it?
      Take good care,
      Blessings,
      Dawn

  2. Dawn and Cora, thank you for your comments. I don’t like to display my challenges much on other’s blogs, feeling like I do plenty of that anyway, but I wish you could both know that your words were a help today. I have been ‘away’ for a bit with no computer access and still have heavy heavy personal trials but am back for now. Blessings to you both, as I am so often blessed by what you each write and comment. Thank you, A.

    • Dear A.,

      I am so glad you are back “for now”. We are a rather small community within many larger ones, I suppose, so when you are missing, we all know it. When you are not here, we all miss your special insight and perspective. It is a huge loss. We also need to know a bit about your struggles so we can pray. We are pretty powerful pray-ers here. My Sebastian is much more alert lately and I have been challenged to look at my work situation differently (I’m in the middle of something) and have been challenged to reach out of my comfort zone for solutions. I think the best thing I receive, however, is encouragement. The Lord is helping us all as we bear one another’s burdens.

      You ain’t heavy, you’re my sister,
      Dawn

    • A. it’s good to see you back, too. My computer has been acting up with the internet, and I get so frustrated, especially when trying to leave comments. That seems to be the place everything freezes up. I, like Dawn, have been struggling with comfort zones that just aren’t too comfortable anymore. When things are so heavy, and there seems no way out, we want safety zones, don’t we? I don’t want to seem nosey or meddling in any way, but if you ever need prayer or encouragement, feel free to email me or contact me through my blog. Like Dawn said, “you ain’t heavy, you’re my sister!” The internet is so large, but somehow, this little circle has formed — not a bunch of women who have arrived, but those who are limping along the same road wanting the same thing —- truth, peace, strength, and to help others also find it all in Christ! Love you!

  3. Dawn and Cora, I have to confess….I don’t know how to contact either of you by email. I am failing at finding links that do those things. The one I found via your site, Cora, only resulted in an error box repeatedly popping up. If I visit your sites, I assume you have my email address? You are welcome to contact me. It really does help to share and bear one another’s burdens, doesn’t it? I am not a famous person by any stretch but my details are just a bit outside the norm enough that if any wandering ones from my camp read me, they would know. I need to not do that for their sakes and for mine. Thank you both for your kind comments and encouragement! I, too, value reading what you both share here and at Craig’s and on other sites. I can tell you have each been in some deep water as well. (Pardon that very last pun. Unintended.)

    • A. My email address is: countrypatches1@verizon.net

      I don’t think that just visiting my blog will leave an email address. Wonder why the link doesn’t work? I know I’m having a terrible time lately leaving comments, etc. Seems that links are just not working all over the place. I understand about confideniality and others recognizing stories, etc. I have to be careful, too, about what and where I say things about my past, my upbringing, etc. Especially in a public type forum. I have so wanted to share on my blog about pains and hurts I’ve been through, but just can’t do that at this time. Maybe it will happen later. God has His ways and purposes!

    • Dear A.,

      My e-mail is dsblanchard@comcast.net. I thought you could get it from posting on my site or I’d have given it to you before. I suppose you can’t. I get yours through my comment section. Anyway, there it is. I’d really like you to send your thought on the intimacy/elimination idea.

      Also, about privacy. I had an interesting thing happen. A magazine editor wanted to post in the mailbag section of the magazine my nursing administration story. All I had to do was give my name and home town. That wouldn’t be good at all! Talking about some hospital out there and naming the only one in my area are two entirely different animals. I know exactly what you’re saying. E-mail details whenever you feel the need.

      Hugs this Thursday,
      Dawn

  4. Yes, Andrea, you have been given a big promise and you had to make a VERY BIG commitment to see it through. I can imagine you have periods in your middle that leave you wondering sometimes.

    “Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it.” I Thess. 5:24

    I’ll be praying for you and your family,
    Dawn

  5. Wow Dawn! This is so insightful. I had never thought about Mary or Simeon living “in the middle” in the ways that you mentioned. Considering Mary as a mother to be who desperately wanted to “know” that what the angel told her was real. . not a dream. . well, that is so much like how I often feel. Is this “real” or am I dreaming? Is that God’s voice or what I want God to whisper in my ear? And if I move when God asks, I am looking for the affirmation. The ground shaking moment where something or someone appears, speaks, writes, does a dance. . something to show me that I am on His path and moving toward the finish. .not wallowing in the middle and possibly taking a wrong turn ahead. Does this make sense?
    And then I read this. Simeon waiting his entire life. Mary giving birth in a STABLE to the Messiah! What woman wouldn’t be wondering?
    Love this. Love this. Love this. Thanks for sharing this with me. My heart is full.

  6. Dear Danelle,

    Yes, yes, yes I do so get what you are saying. it’s what I heard you saying on your last post. God works in community. He comes by when we just can’t be sure..to those who seek Him with their whole heart. Simeon, Anna, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zacharias, the Kings, Danelle and Dawn. He meets us because we delight in Him and don’t want to miss Him. Simeon waited, yes, but he kept in touch with God all the while. He prayed, read Scripture, visited the temple He minded the Master’s business. I must do that tomorrow and work on memorizing my Scriptures for the week. I have been slacking. Jesus never slacks wtih me.

    I thought you would relate to this, Danelle. I’m so glad you did!
    Blessing and glory and honor and power be unto Him forever and ever, alleluia, amen,
    Dawn

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