I never thought I'd be here. I never thought it would be me.
But here I am, on the other side of the veil, and I'm trembling like the rumbles of thunder that shake the world in utter terror. I feel like I'm sinking, falling.
With every flickering of the candles and dancing shadows, I wonder if it's Someone. If those eyes that see no sin can bear to look upon my soul. If He knows how much my hands shake as I try to burn incense before Him.
The smell rises up. It's beautiful and sickly and washes over me like a downpour. I can't breathe. It's everywhere, that thick, perfume scent, a million flowers. All around me, hidden under the shining roof of the temple.
I shouldn't be here. I don't deserve to be.
God Himself could step in. He's here. And who am I?
I drop the incense. Something wet moistens my sandals. The perfume is like flowers meeting soiled ground, flawed staining the purely immaculate. Silence echoes around me.
And I hear a voice. He knows my name.
He speaks, and the words could shake earth and crack it in two:
"Do not be afraid."
I am afraid. I want to run, to hide, to keep this angel from seeing who I am. God is here, and I am man.
But the angel speaks. He utters words I don't understand, ones I've dreamed of only in my faintest, distant yearnings. He says I'll have a son. He says the world is changing. He says our hearts will once again return to God Almighty.
After all these years. All these hopes and prayers that seemed to dissolve into muddy soil.
I can't stand, can't breathe, can't control myself. It's like this Being is here, and He is ultimate and supreme and everything I've ever wanted and so much more and beyond.
Somehow, I'm before Him.
I can't speak, and if I could, I wouldn't know what to say. Even after silence settles, lights dim, the incense slowly drifts into the air, I'm frozen and can't do anything and don't want to. My knees are wet with the perfume I was supposed to give Him. Somehow, He poured out everything on me.
God remembered. He remembered me and the struggles I have that I pretended didn't matter. He remembered Israel and our yearnings for a Messiah. He remembered. And after all these hundreds of years, He still loves.
That God, that overwhelming powerful One, He chooses to love.
I'll never do anything the same. May my life be only to serve Him forever and fall on my face saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel."
Because somehow I was like a trampled flower, soiled by the earth, like the incense poured out, but He chose to lift me back up.
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
And for you - a worksheet to explore Zacharias' life more fully!