“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” – Malachi 4:2
This is the last prophecy in the Old Testament regarding the Messiah. Also the last prophetic book prior to his first Advent. After Malachi finished his ministry to captive Israel, God was silent for roughly 400 years. The chosen nation, being passed around from conquering empire to the next. Paganism slowly permeating its fragile tent. There was no rest, no peace, no freedom, no comforting words from God, not even a rebuke. And no hope.
Perhaps the holidays leave you frazzled, anxious, depressed. There’s much to do, plenty of events, and even greater amounts of expenses, possibly resulting in unwanted debt. Much stress and less peace. Every year is the same. Sometimes a bit better, sometimes worse.
Think about the Israelites and what they went through, for all those years. Striving to keep traditions and hope alive, though the promise seemed far off. But they persisted and prayed, in a whisper or at the temple. Then one day Zechariah enters the temple to offer prayers. How blessed was he to hear it announced by the angel, after four long centuries.
Hope may tarry, but it always comes. And we celebrate the fact that it has, just as it was promised: with healing on his wings. And though the prophecy is not yet fulfilled in its fullness, we can still breathe in freedom and leap with joy for the salvation God has provided through His Christ. Hallelujah!
But on a more personal note, I encourage you to have confidence that God is still answering your deepest prayers. They may tarry, but He hears it. And He cares. So keep on praying. Zechariah and Elizabeth eventually got their unexpected miracle. One day so did I. In due time, I believe God can give you one, too.