We are really blessed to have a pool. Especially in those really hot Brisbane months, where the heat is grotesque. This weekend when I jumped into the pool, despite all my husbands’ best efforts it wasn’t completely pristine. He informed me that apparently, we need a new filter. I was certain we had only just purchased one! This holidays I have watched him frequently scurry off to Bunnings to buy more salts, more this, more that…all for the pool. And now we need new filters AGAIN! Pools definitely seem like a lot of maintenance and expense. Especially when you consider that you only use it 2-3 months out of a year. Yeah, I know…..first world problems…
My point is, that in the long run, this pool is costing us a lot more than we would care to consider (because let’s face it we aren’t going to give up the pool!)
I stumbled upon this really interesting passage, where Zechariah is visited by an angel (Luke 1:5-20). The angel tells him that his wife Elizabeth is going to give birth to a son. Zechariah’s response is not really out of the ordinary, he just sounds like a guy needing some reassurance. He basically asks him: “How can I be sure? My wife and I are very old.” However, the angel disciplines his response of unbelief, by retracting his ability to speak until the child is born. WHAT???!!! 9 months of silence! I got to be honest, I have definitely doubted over MANY things that were minuscule in size, in comparison to a really old couple having a baby. Actually, I probably doubt daily. Big and small doubts, I don’t discriminate. It’s possible, like you, that much of my stress and worrying is really doubt and unbelief manifesting itself as ‘busyness’ or ‘not being organised enough’.
It is just so hard to reconcile that Zechariah’s unbelief could have cost him SO much. To lose the ability to speak? He was a priest! I can’t imagine the difficulties it would have created in delivering on his priestly duties.
Our unbelief rarely costs us THIS much. Or so we think…
The consequence to Zechariah for unbelief would not have been avoidable. It was very obvious. It would have affected his ability to function daily.
But what is our unbelief REALLY costing us?
Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting us. Just like the pool with all its hidden costs. Retrospectively I can see that there have been so many good things God has meant for me to enjoy, that my unbelief has hidden. I think of all the promises I haven’t seen activated because I allowed doubt to cloud my judgement and choices. Whilst at times I have been desperate for peace and joy, I fully acknowledge that it is the doubt that has unnecessarily filtered circumstances through fear and anxiety.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about those times where it actually is important to wrestle and grapple with truths (or even faith in general). Those times are actually quite important, and God is not perturbed by that. But doubting God when you literally have an angel before you prophesying about the future…..that’s not a ‘grapple’ time.
Ultimately unbelief detracts us from seeing God as He is. Unbelief is like seeing God with that mosaic thing they put over a persons face in the news when they are trying to protect their identity. It steals from us the full life of genuine freedom available when we receive the GOOD NEWS. And I’m certain the cost of unbelief is NOT worth it. For some of us, its time to dig up the metaphorical pool!