Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lessons Learned from Wearing Anna's Sandals


            Anna’s story is in three verses in the Bible found in Luke 2:36-39. From those three verses and a little digging in the Old Testament, Anna’s story is extrapolated.

            If Anna was around 15 when she married as a virgin to a man for seven years and she was a widow for 84 years, then this puts her around 106 years old. We don’t know if she had children in those seven years of marriage; we just know that she never remarried. I wondered if she had children, did she outlive them and that is why she was at the temple all the time serving God? It’s a possibility. Otherwise, she should’ve been with her children and grandchildren. Regardless, God had a purpose for her outliving those she loved. God had a purpose for her life to continue on serving Him. She was focused on God. She was determined in her praying and fasting and serving.

            I cannot help but think that when Anna prayed that she was praying for God to move, praying for God to send the Messiah. I bet she was relentless in her prayer. I bet when she started praying, God would smile and think, “Yes, Anna, I know you are ready for the Messiah. I’m working on it.” She was fierce in her prayers, pounding on the doors of heaven and on the ears of God.

            It says Anna was a prophetess, but she didn’t become a prophetess until she was 106 because God did not speak through prophets during the Dark Ages. It wasn’t until God sent an angel to speak with Zechariah that God broke His silence. Do you get how huge that is!? She was 106 when she fulfilled one of her purposes God had laid out for her. How old are you? I dare say that you aren’t 106. If you are sitting on your assets or laurels, that is a luxury you can’t afford. Discover what God’s purpose for you is and get doing what He has called you to do. Time is short, sweet friends.

            I bet Anna was desperate to hear more and learn more once she heard about Zechariah’s encounter. This was the temple in Jerusalem. You know word got around. Have you ever anxiously waited on news about someone? Maybe someone was in a bad crash or deathly ill or maybe someone was serving in the military overseas and you were desperate to find out any news whatsoever about your loved one. Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt that sense of desperation just wanting some piece of news? I can’t help but think that Anna felt this in her inner most being. So when she finally sees Joseph and Mary holding a baby and Simeon huddling over them praying, Anna become filled with the Spirit. She burst in praise and prophesying. How could she not!? Her enthusiasm and excitement cannot be contained. It was infectious. She was telling those who needed redemption and grace that Scripture was being fulfilled. The time had come. The great I Am was here, and she was blessed to see the face of God. WOOHOO! That right there will preach!

            So here are my questions to you: How desperate are you to see the face of God? How infectious is your faith, your enthusiasm over the things of God, your joy at God’s handiwork? Are you so excited about what God has done that you can’t help yourself, you have to tell others? Is the excitement just pouring out of you? And don’t you know that she told some people more than once? Did I tell you I got to see the face of the Messiah? I can’t remember who I’ve told, but did I tell you? When was the last time you felt the Spirit? When was the last time you saw God move or answer a prayer? Are you relentlessly pounding on the door of heaven, bending your Father’s ear, telling Him what is on your heart?

            1 Timothy 3:5, “Now she who is widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers days and night…” In a time that Anna could have wished to have died having outlived her loved one, she was still serving God, and she was rewarded for her faithfulness. There is no doubt that Anna’s hope was on God and in God, and the Scripture verifies her praying day and night. What a testimony she has. Life does not end when a status in your life ends. Your purpose does not die just because you grow older and outlive loved ones. Whatever season of life we are in, may we pray without ceasing and seek God for that purpose He has for us in the season in which we find ourselves. The time is growing near, sweet friends. Christ’s return is inevitable. Will you be like Anna looking for Christ? Are you excited about His return? Are you telling people about it? Will you know the Scripture? Will you be praying in anticipation of His return? This is what Anna was all about. She wasn’t all caught up in her status of widow or in her late-in-life age. She was all about serving God and telling others.

            I’m just telling you, I can’t wait to meet Anna in heaven. I bet she still has an infectious energy and would love to recall how she met the Savior face-to-face while on earth. I’m going to tell her I really enjoyed wearing the sandals she wore during this period of her life.

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