"She never left the Temple area, worshipping night, and day with her fasting's and prayers... She showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem." LUKE 2:37-38 MSG
"The last 24 hours have been crazy. We have a son!" A what?! My friend's text arrived and caught me completely off guard. Just 7 days before, she and I shared over lunch about infertility, options, and God's plan. Her heart was to honor God with her desire to be a mother. She and her husband were blessed with a daughter 7 years before but had unexplained infertility since. They completed the home study for adoption and were meeting with a physician to explore medical options. Her ache was to grow their family, but every road felt like a dead-end. But God...
That day, one week before, even as we sat sharing, crying, and praying at lunch a little baby boy was being born into a situation where he would need a family. God had just the one prepared! In an instant their family had grown into the one for which they so desperately prayed. Adoption papers were signed. God answered their prayers so swiftly, and I couldn't figure out why that made ME cry uncontrollably. Of course, I was in awe of God's perfect plan to weave this family together. Of course, I was overwhelmed that we never know what blessings God has on the way for us and we seem surprised each time He comes through. I'm not much of a crier but I could not stop the tears.
Anna's story is only 3 short verses, so what we are to learn from her is distinct. Anna endured life's disappointments. She became a widow after being married only seven years yet lived 84 more years unmarried. 84 years! Not only that, through the rest of her life she remained a widow committed to serving God. During a time when women were highly dependent on a husband, Anna's endurance for all those years should not be taken lightly. We don't see her begging God for a new husband nor blaming God for her short marriage. Despite experiencing the death of a spouse, she endured through the disappointment and was redeemed to a long productive life.
She also endured the challenge of waiting for prophesy to be fulfilled. Speaking to things that haven't come to pass requires great faith! Each day, week, month, or year that passed required Anna to remain focused on God. Her endurance in waiting for the fulfillment is a characteristic for us to model.
What Anna had prophesied for many years was fulfilled in her encounter with the little family. She evangelized immediately to those "looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem" (v. 38). As a prophetess, she recognized who this child was and told of His significance! Her actions affirmed Amos 3:7 (NIV): "Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plans to His servants the prophets."
If you would like to be able to do a complete study of Session Twelve, order a copy of HER STORY: Redeemed by contacting Empowered Women's Ministry at email@example.com or 817.554.5900 ext. 371. Available also at pcg.org/resources or Amazon.
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