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Day 5 of 26 :: No random days.



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I am not ready to move from this place just yet.

If you know me then you know I am someone who digs for significance in everything I read and encounter. This is a really good habit to have when you are reading the Bible because no word is accidental in this text. Everything mentioned is mentioned for a reason. It holds purpose and so we must figure out how to hold space for the purpose.

The fact that Zechariah and his job in the temple are mentioned is a big deal. There is something here for us. I mentioned in the last essay that Zechariah and the rest of the priests were divided into 24 groups.

Each group served in the temple twice a year for one week at a time.

Each group contained 50 priests.

The priests who were to do the jobs within the temple were chosen by an ancient practice called “the casting of lots.” These were typically sticks with markings on them or stones with symbols on them that would be thrown into an area and then interpreted. Basically, it was the Old Testament of rolling the dice. But it wasn’t left up to chance. Proverbs 16:22 states, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” God was in the choices. God was in the odds.

The biggest job within the temple was the lighting of the incense to create the official offering for God. This was like the main course— the most important part. And because there were 50 priests who only came into the temple twice a year, the odds were pretty low that you would get this job more than once in your life.

Making the incense offering to God was literally a once-in-a-lifetime job.

I wanted to focus on this because it’s important to know how big of a deal it was that on this particular week in the temple God would choose Zechariah to burn the incense and then use that holy moment to reveal an answered prayer to him through the angel Gabriel.

This wasn’t casual.

This wasn’t something that Zechariah had likely ever done before.

It was a sacred moment and God made sure it was more sacred than Zechariah could ever imagine.

It goes even deeper. The lighting of the incense, an act performed by one person, had a specific purpose: the incense he lit represented the prayers of the entire nation. Alone in that temple, while the rest of the people gathered outside to pray, Zechariah lifted up the prayers of the nation and God set into motion the story of Jesus.

It was officially time.

It was officially the moment when God stepped in and said, “The prayers of the nation are heard and the story begins to reveal itself today.”

Our God is a God who orchestrates redemption stories. He is constantly up to something. Where we see random days, he sees so much purpose. Where we see lines in a story, he reads between those lines and fills our days with all kinds of serendipity.

This gives me hope and it calls me to live better because I am often guilty of just assuming there are days on my calendar that hold no weight, which simply exist as a barrier to get me to the days I really want to live out. This could not be further from the truth.

That coffee date you have today: it isn’t random.

That gift your friend gives you next week: it isn’t random.

That conversation you need to have: it isn’t random.

That person who reaches out in need of help: it isn’t random.

All the things that are coming up in this season have already been pre-planned out by God and the best thing you and I can do to honor the planning is to pay close attention and lean all the way in.

God wants to show himself to you in the mundane and the extraordinary. He wants to be in all of it.

Years ago, my friend Tory told me over tacos that God doesn’t do anything halfway. He loves to show off. If all of life is designed to give God glory then why wouldn’t he show off so that you and I have something to shout about?

He delights in our praise and he wants so badly for us to know that he doesn’t half-heartedly think about us but that he wants to deliver news to us in extravagant and wild ways.

We will miss the magic if we spend the entire season on our phones.

We will miss the magic if we spend the entire season comparing our Christmas to someone else’s.

We will miss the magic if we spend the entire season talking about what’s next for 2021.

This is a time that won’t come again. God will never duplicate it in this lifetime. And I believe he wants to show up and show off for us throughout this Advent season.

So let’s let him in.

Zechariah could have easily gone through the motions and missed the miracle. He could have easily not seen the importance of the task in front of him and failed to look up for what God would do next.

But he was there.

He was present.

Are you?


Luke 1:8-10


Dear God, it feels so easy to go through the motions and miss the miracles but I am choosing a new mindset: I will see the importance of the tasks in front of me. I am going to show up for people, for events, for dates on the calendar with cheer and thankfulness, believing you are calling me to be where my feet are.




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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


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