Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

Category 5

Category 6

Day 5 of 28: No Random Days



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







Start Tracking Your Habits Today

Download my free Habit Tracker!


Start Powering Down Intentionally.

Download my free Unplugging Tracker!

No Random Days

I am not ready to move from this place just yet. Remember how I said we would “camp out” in some parts of the story? This is one of those times. I’ll make the fire. You set up the tent.

I am someone who digs for significance in everything I read and encounter. It’s a good habit when reading the Bible because no word is accidental in this text. Everything mentioned in the Scriptures is there for a reason. It holds purpose and weight.

The fact that Luke mentions Zechariah and his job in the temple is a big deal. As I wrote yesterday, Zechariah and the rest of the priests were divided into 24 groups. Each group contained 50 priests and would serve in the temple twice a year. Their shift would last for one week.

The priests used an ancient practice called “the casting of lots” to assign jobs within the temple. Lots were commonly sticks or stones with symbols adorned on them that would be thrown into an open space and then interpreted. It was the Old Testament version of rolling the dice. But even this game of chance 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 odds.

Every person casting lots would have wanted the biggest job within the temple: the lighting of the incense to create the official offering for God. We might call this the main course— the part that holds everything else together. 

Because these 50 priests only came into the temple twice a year, the odds were pretty low that you would get this job more than once in your lifetime. 

Yes, making the incense offering to God was a once-in-a-lifetime job.

On this particular week in the temple, the priests cast their lots, and Zechariah was chosen to burn the incense. God used this once-in-a-lifetime moment for Zechariah to reveal an answered prayer to him through the angel Gabriel.

Can you even imagine? You’ve been waiting your whole life to perform this one task, and, in the midst of it, God sends an angel to tell you that thing you’ve never stopped praying for is finally coming to fruition. 

It was a beyond-sacred moment, and God crafted it intentionally for Zechariah. 

But the symbolism of this moment runs even deeper than that. 

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

It was officially go-time.

God stepped in and said, “I hear the prayers of the nation, and the redemption story begins to reveal itself today.”

Zechariah could have quickly gone through the motions and missed the miracle. He could have easily not seen the importance of the task and failed to look toward what God would do next.

But he was there.

He was present.

Are you?

I am often guilty of assuming there are days on my calendar that hold no weight, just days that act as a barrier from the days I really, really want to live out. But this could not be further from the truth.

Our God is a God who orchestrates redemption stories. He is constantly up to something. Where we see random days, God sees hidden pockets of purpose. Where we see random lines in a story, God reads between those lines and fills our days with hidden meanings.

The dinner date you have today isn’t random.

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

That conversation you need to have isn’t random.

That person who reaches out in need of help this afternoon isn’t random.

All the things that are coming up 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 in. We will miss the miracles if our heads stay stuck in our phones.

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 has the potential to give God glory, why wouldn’t he show off and provide us with something to shout about?

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

Friend, you will miss the magic if you don’t look up. 

You will miss the magic if you spend the entire season comparing your Christmas to someone else’s.

You will miss the magic if you spend the entire season only thinking about what’s next for 2023.

You don’t even realize you’re already standing in the once-in-a-lifetime.

This 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 you throughout this Advent season.

He’s waiting at the door. It’s time to go and let him in.


Luke 1:8-10

Steal This Prayer

Dear God, it is 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 will show up for people, for events, for dates on the calendar with anticipation of what you’re going to do.

I choose to believe you are calling me to divine appointments. You are showing off. Release your power into all the areas of my life.

I Love Hearing from You!

In moving my blog to a newer platform, I sadly had to let go of the thousands of comments and conversations that came from readers over the last 10+ years. This grieves me deeply but I know there will new conversations, fresh words of wisdom, and opportunities to create close community once again. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. I’ll be reading + replying on a regular basis.


  1. Jennifer Gramley says:

    I have loved these writings about Advent….each time I read your messages I learn something new. Thank you so much!
    Have loved learning about the priests duties and how God uses this moment to speak to Zechariah….and set into motion the story of John and Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Hannah

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


READ          LATEST



In the Mood For...

Lifestyle Content

Writing Tips

A Faith Boost

Mental Health



The Unplugged Hours

What if you could make a small yet intentional shift away from the constant screens? What if you could learn to check back in with yourself and show up better to your daily life?

Get The Guide

For the One Who
Wants to Start Writing.

My favorite writing resources, tools I use in my own practice, and tips for creating a writing process— all rolled into one PDF.

I'd love to drop some consistent encouragement, favorite things, and the latest essays in your inbox.

Let's Be Friends.

follow @hannahbrencher

If you're into encouraging pep talks, hope-filled devotionals, tips for building better routines, the occasional JonBenet Ramsey deep-dive + some solid book recs-- you've arrived at your destination.

Follow along →

My weekly newsletter →

I love pinning things →