And the LORD spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
Zechariah 1:13 NLT
Ever wonder about angels? Ever wonder if Hollywood got it right? Or, which time did they come closest to their depiction of angels? John Travolta in Michael? Christopher Lloyd in Angels in the Outfield? Henry Travers in It’s A Wonderful Life?
I’m secretly hoping they’re a little like Nicholas Cage in City of Angels.
In Zechariah, the second to last book of the Old Testament, we get to see an extremely honest moment between one angel and God. Zechariah is given messages from God in the form of eight visions. In one of the visions, an angel expresses frustration and pain to God and God consoles him with words that are only for him. It was only a two-verse exchange but it kept my mind reeling as I thought about the vulnerability it models.
“Upon hearing this, the angel of the LORD prayed this prayer: ‘O LORD Almighty, for seventy years now you have been angry with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. How long will it be until you again show mercy to them?’ And the LORD spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.” (Zechariah 1:12-13 NLT)
Okay, so this is what I noticed right away: The angel heard something that upset him and he prayed to God about it. The angel hears something that upsets him and, instead of going around to all of his angel buddies to stew about it, he goes immediately to the LORD in prayer. (It’s so cool to know that even angels pray!) He doesn’t sugar-coat it. He tells God exactly how he’s feeling about what he heard and He asks God for HIS answer. And God responds with kind and comforting words. God didn’t scold the angel. God doesn’t take offense at the angel questioning his plans. He offers the angel kindness and comfort. He soothes the angel’s fears and frustration.
If you were to flip open to Zechariah yourself sometime in the next couple days, you would see that this tiny, seemingly insignificant exchange is the spark to a much bigger message. Just a moment of private, honest conversation with God changes the entire second half of the chapter. God rewards this honest angel with a chance to share a message of hope, power, and triumph for thousands of years beyond that moment.
What awesome boldness will your honest conversations with God spark? I don’t know but I’m going find out for myself this week, starting today, by taking the time to talk with God the way angels do. Honestly.
Dear Lord, It amazes me beyond words to think that you offer me the same privilege as angels – that I can come to you in honesty and brokenness. You comforted the angel in Zechariah’s day and you will give me nothing less in mine. I’m sorry for all the times I’ve struggled through my sadness, frustration or confusion alone when you are right there wanting to offer comfort and kindness. I will talk to you instead. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/13989429@N00/21315553420″>Angelo della Resurrezione</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>