Anna is the woman I read about this week in my devotional.
Her story is found in the book of Luke.
There are not many words about Anna in the Bible, but the few words that are mentioned are powerful. Here is what the Bible says happened when Anna met Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus at the temple.
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna was only with her husband for seven years when he died. Losing her husband after so few years of marriage must have been devastating, but her faith remained strong. After suffering through that tremendous loss, she devoted her life only to God. That's humbling to me, because in my life my faith has been shaken many times by much less traumatic circumstances. But she did not let the loss of her husband change her faith or her love for the Lord.
What touched me most about Anna is that Scripture says she never left the temple. It also says she worshiped night and day, and as if that wasn't enough, she did that while fasting.
I don't know about you, but by the time I get out of church on Sunday, I am starving! I love my time at church, but come 12:00 I am ready to go home, put on my pajama pants, and eat lunch. I only go to church one morning a week, but Anna lived at the temple every single day!
It is hard to imagine living a life so devoted to God. So many times in my own life, I am sorry to say, I have to try to squeeze in my quiet time with God. I scurry around trying to get all of my "chores" done, then, if I still have time, I will spend time with God. I am working on changing that in my life, but I will humbly tell you that it does not come naturally to me. I have been ashamed many times when I get out my devotionals to read and I realize that I haven't read them in the last two days. It makes me sad to think of the time that I have wasted in my life on meaningless things. Time spent with God is never meaningless or wasted. Time with God should always be my first priority.
God was Anna's first priority. She didn't just "know" He was first in her life, she "showed" it by her actions. Once again, I am humbled as I think about her walk with God.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Scripture also tells us that Anna recognized who Christ was when she first laid eyes on Him. She knew who He was. Even though He was a tiny infant, she knew He was the Savior she had been waiting for. She had finally seen the Promised Child.
The Bible says that she "spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." We don't know the exact words that she said, but the Bible does tell us that she was a prophetess, so the words she spoke would have been true about Jesus and His life. I wonder what her exact words were, and did the people she spoke to believe her?........
I'm sure then just like now, some people would have thought she was just a crazy old lady, but some would have recognized the truths she spoke and held on to her every word.
The devotional posed a question for us to think about regarding prophesy and our own lives.
"If an Anna were to have spoken (prophesied)about you when you were six weeks old, what would she have said?"
That question has given me a lot to think about.
As far as I've come in my walk with God, I've got so much farther to go.
I want to pray for my own life to mirror Anna's. I don't mean living at the church and skipping lunch for the rest of my life, but I do mean a life that puts God first.
A life devoted to Him.
A life that honors Him above all.
A heart completely surrendered to God.
Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you.
Thank You, Lord for sharing the story of Anna. Her devotion to You encourages me.