Hello Ladies ~ Summer is here. Our northern friends have gone back to their homes and some of our year round ladies are on vacations. Our group was small this past Monday, but we had a good time and we had 2 new ladies.
As you know, Dotti has asked we staff ladies to choose a widow of the Bible that has impressed/inspired us and to give a talk on that widow. This month was my turn and Dotti asked me to post my thoughts here on
‘Anna the Prophetess’
Her brief story can be found in Luke 2:36-38
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Anna chose to stay single. We don't know if she had any relatives that could have taken her in or not, as it is not recorded. We do know that she went to the temple to serve God, by fastings and prayers, night and day, and never left the temple.
She prayed, she fasted and waited. She believed in God and the promises that had been made about a coming Messiah and she prophesied this over and over again throughout her years in the temple serving God. This was God's will for her and she lovingly and gladly lived her life of serving God in this way.
God blessed her, a widow, by letting her 'see' the blessed HOPE, the Messiah, when He/Jesus was brought to the temple for the purification ceremony by his parents, Mary and Joseph. Anna 'knew' who He was and she prophesied to all around her that He was the salvation promised to God's people. Anna is the first in a line of prophetic disciples who will speak about Jesus to all who were looking for the redemption of Israel.
Mary was the first to have the good news announced to her by the angel Gabriel, but Anna is the first woman (and a widow) to understand fully and proclaim the good news.
How wonderful that God used a widow to proclaim who He was. Jesus, the incarnation of God in the flesh, the Lamb of the world, come to seek and save those who are lost. Anna had been lovingly faithful to God throughout her life, telling others of His coming and He rewarded her with allowing her to see the Savior of the world. How exciting that must have been for her.
How exciting for we widows, to know that God can and does work through widows to proclaim His love and mercy. Let us open our hearts and minds to serving Him and telling others.
So, what can we learn from Anna?
To serve God ~ whether or not we are able to actually serve God in our churches today, we can certainly serve Him through our lives and the gifts that He blesses us with.
In I Corinthians 6:19 the Bible says ~ "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
We all are blessed with different ways/gifts of serving the Lord. If you don't know what your gifts may be, ask God to show you. Trust Him and let Him work through you.
In I Peter 4:10-11 (NIV) we read the following.
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever."
Let us remember also ~ Colossians 3:23 ~ "And whatsoever we do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"
Now back let's go back to Anna, she was strong, committed to and trusted God, she was patient. She kept on prophesying to all she met of God and His promises. She didn't know if she would see the coming of the Savior, she just knew He was coming and she had to speak it. God spoke through her and so speaking truths, she was a witness to others.
Anna's name means 'grace'.
That is what I pray for in this time of my life, to be full of grace as I walk this journey of widowhood, and wait to see Jesus.
May we all walk in God's grace.
Let us tell others of all that He has done for us.
Let us be lights of His love, grace and mercy.
He is our God and He is awesome.
As we all know, this is a rough and sometimes lonely journey that we are on. We did NOT ask to join this 'sisterhood', God chose us. Through this journey He draws us ever closer to Him.
"Let thy widows trust in me." Jeremiah 49:11
May God bless all of you as you go about your daily lives serving Him in the ways He has given you to serve. He is your strength and He is continually with you.