I'm a lot like Zechariah. You remember the story in Luke 1. An angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him that his wife would bear him a son named John. Though this was a messenger from God, Zechariah was not convinced. He said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years" (Luke 1:18). In other words, "I don't believe you. All I see is that my wife and I are too old to have a baby." With that, the angel, Gabriel, shut Zechariah's mouth and made him silent because he "did not believe [God's] words, which will be fulfilled in their time" (Luke 1:20b). In Luke 1:6, we see that Zechariah was a righteous man who walked blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But he didn't always walk by faith. Here we see that his eyes were so fixed on his immediate circumstances--his age and the barrenness of his wife--that he couldn't see the unseen promises of God. It's ironic that God had to shut his mouth so he could see more clearly to walk by faith.
I'm a lot like Zechariah. I don't always walk by faith. I like to know what's ahead. I like it when God gives me clarity and shows me the way. I'd rather not take steps of faith and trust him and his word. I'd like to see it first. I don't like to be led by something I can't see. But I suppose that's how God grows us. In the beginning of our Christian journey he gives us a pillar of fire to guide us through the wilderness of life. As we take steps on the journey he slowly takes away the pillar of fire that we can see so we would rely on the pillar of his promises that we can't see. But just like Zechariah (and the Israelites before him), God has given us his word and his promises to guide us. These unseen truths are the very things we must look to and cling to when we feel like God is not there. Because he is there and his word stands forever. Every promise is "yes" and "Amen" in Christ.
So Lord, help me to lift my eyes away from myself to the unseen promises of your Word. Shut my mouth if you must so that I may learn to walk by faith even when I can't see what's ahead.