January 10, 2022 — Was she just lucky to be there?

“I have a friend,” Stan commented one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast, “who just about drives me crazy with what he says about ‘luck’.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“Simple example,” Stan replied. “The other day I was telling him about how I had prayed for something and how God had answered my prayer exactly as I had prayed. My friend said something about me being ‘lucky’.”

“Lucky to have God answer a prayer?” I responded. “Is your friend a believer?”

“He claims to be,” Stan answered. “And that’s a big part of what drives me crazy about this guy. He doesn’t seem to see that answered prayer is about praying in accord with God’s will, it’s not about luck!”

“Sounds like your friend could use some prayer about how he sees prayer and how God answers.”

“I think you’re right,” Stan answered. “In fact, I saw something in Luke’s gospel the other day dealing with God’s answer to a woman’s dedication to prayer that might have been seen as ‘luck’ to someone who didn’t know the truth.”

“What was that all about?” I asked.

“It had to do with with Jesus’ birth and how His parents, in accordance with the law of Moses, presented Him to the Lord in the temple when He was eight days old. There was a woman named Anna who was in the temple. She saw Jesus, came up to Him and His parents, and gave thanks to God for the redemption He provided through Jesus. Without knowing Anna’s background, a person could conclude that she was ‘lucky’ to be there to see Jesus.”

“But that wasn’t the case?” I asked.

“Not in the least,” Stan replied. “Anna had been a widow for a long time. Not sure exactly how long, but it says she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow and was eighty-four when she saw Jesus in the temple. But how long she had been a widow is not the important part.”

“What is?”

“That she never left the temple,” Stan replied, “but served night and day with fasting and prayers, waiting for the Redeemer.”

“Waiting for the Redeemer,” I repeated. “So it wasn’t that she was ‘lucky’ to be in the temple when Jesus was presented. She had been waiting for Him, as if she knew that God would eventually answer her prayers. Is that the point?”

“That’s it, my friend,” Stan said. “And I think it’s the same for me. When I pray and wait for the answer, it’s not just a matter of luck when the answer comes! It’s all in God’s timing.”

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Bible verses to consider: And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. And she never left the temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers. And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of Jesus the Redeemer, through whom all who believe have life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you, too, for the fact that I can come before you in prayer knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that you will answer my prayers in accordance with your will, including your timing. I confess that there are times when I try to “answer my own prayers” by going ahead of you without waiting for your answer. Please forgive that foolishness and help me present to a watching world the truth of your provision. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? If you do, have you ever thought of yourself as “lucky” to be where you are with God? Have you ever considered an answered prayer to be a matter of “luck”? If someone, a believer or a non-believer said such a thing to you, how would you respond? God’s plan of salvation is not a matter of luck. There are choices involved!

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The Book — S. Tory Teller’s book (Foreword by Josh McDowell), Waiting for the Train: Biblical Food for Growing before Going, is available from amazon.com as well as from the publisher at s-toryteller.com 

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