To wrap up our discussion about Zechariah, I want to conclude by saying that when God shuts our mouths, there’s always a good reason. Though we’re not likely to be visited by an angel and have our tongues physically tied, if we remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit, there may be times when the Lord tells us to stay silent. When this happens, it’s usually because He wants to work something out in us, and to speak too hastily might do more harm than good. You see, when we’re wounded by disappointment, either with God or with others, we tend to hold onto resentment. Unfortunately, when we don’t process through emotional pain and allow the Lord to heal it, it can cause our hearts to grow hard and our words cold. In fact, I believe this is what Zechariah was dealing with. As the years of his life wore on, he became cynical, and he no longer expected miracles from his Heavenly Father’s hand. Had he been permitted to speak after he was visited by the angel Gabriel, he might have done harm to his own future and even to the faith of others. By disagreeing with the good plans of God, he could have trampled the very blessings that were springing up under his feet and caused people to doubt divine providence. And so it is for us today. Though it’s important to be honest about how we feel with trustworthy and empathic friends, we should guard our spirits against the kind of bitterness that poisons our words. If the Lord urges us not to speak, we should heed His promptings until our utterance is in alignment with His truth, His promises, and His heart.
My friend, don’t let cynicism take root in your soul, and do everything in your power to guard against its poison. Though life is hard, loss is painful, and some things are simply unfair, our Savior causes all things to work together for good on behalf of His children. Because He is steadfast and immovable, even when circumstances look dire, there is alway hope! Let the words of your mouth affirm this truth, and if you are tempted to speak angrily, harshly, or doubtfully, let the Holy Spirit quiet you until He has reminded you of how deeply you are known, cared for, and loved.