Waiting for the Answer
Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
When I was a child, long before the days of online shopping, we had toy catalogues. Once, I found the exact thing I had always wanted and went to my parents with my request. We mailed off the check . . . and waited. From the moment we placed the order, I brimmed with anticipation.
Days turned to weeks, and every day was another disappointment, until one day, mom got a letter that the toy was out of stock and would never be sent. I was crushed, until Christmas, when I got an even better toy. I ended up getting something fantastic, but it didn’t come when or how I expected, and I spent a lot of time in the anguish of my impatience.
In today’s passage, Zechariah prophesied about the coming Messiah, whom he said would come on a donkey. I imagine the Israelites were like me when they heard of the coming king. They probably looked for that donkey daily, desperately awaiting their savior. Christ did eventually enter Jerusalem on a donkey . . . over 500 years later. No one who heard the prophesy from Zechariah’s lips lived to see it fulfilled.
Why did God tell his people of a coming king, and then wait hundreds of years? What was the point of giving his people hope for a thing they would never see?
I think this is faith. To keep our eyes on God, believing in his presence with us now, despite not getting the answers we want right now. There are some things that won’t be fixed in this life. Faith though, knows that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28), even though that good may not come in this life. Faith is following God even though we can’t see the entire picture yet.
Though the Israelites in today’s story never got to see their king, God was still with them, just as he is still with us. Even though we may not yet see the answers for which we have been praying, in faith we still follow him.