By Louis Smith
Today's Scripture: Luke 1:5-25
Central Thought: Difficulties can be the backdrop to God's miraculous intervention.
'Backdrop” is a theatrical term. It describes the background of a stage production. It may be an elaborately painted scene covering the back of the stage. Or it may simply be curtains. It may even be the blank back wall of the stage. But whatever the stage setting, the actors do their work against the backdrop.
God does some of His miraculous works against dark backdrops. A case in point appears in the story of the birth of John the Baptist, Jesus' forerunner. John's birth was nothing less than a miracle. How do we know that? The backdrop tells us so.
Luke 1:5-7 describes this backdrop. It introduces John's father and mother, Zechariah and Elizabeth (verse 5). Verse 6 pictures the positive qualities of their lives. They were godly people, living in obedience to the Lord. But the next verse tells us they were childless—and getting on in years. Both time and nature worked against them, but this did not stop God from giving them the child He had chosen for them to parent.
While Zechariah served in the temple, an angel appeared to him (verses 8-11) and announced to Zechariah that God had heard his prayer. Elizabeth would become pregnant with a child who was to be named John (verse 13). Zechariah could not believe what he heard (verse 18), but it came to pass (verse 24).
Do not let your difficulties keep you from believing God for the miracle you need. Instead, see your difficulties as a backdrop for your miracle. Follow the example of Zechariah and his wife. Continue to live faithfully for God, and do not stop praying and believing. Always keep in mind: God does His most radiant works against the backdrop of some of the darkest moments of His followers.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to trust You, even when the backdrop of my circumstances is dark.
Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 19:1-20:29; Luke 1:1-25; Psalm 56:1-13; Proverbs 11:8