The verses that “spoke” to me today were from chapter 8….
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts? Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness….
Just as you have been a cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong. (Zechariah 8:6-8, 13)
When the Jews lived in exile it must have seemed impossible to them that any of them would ever return to their hometown of Jerusalem, and yet the Lord restored them to their homeland. Our God is one who specializes in performing the impossible. This is what the angel said to the Blessed Virgin Mary when he told her that she would become pregnant with the baby Jesus, even though she had never known a man: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
The God who brought the Jews out of exile and caused a virgin to conceive our Savior will also through that same Savior bring us out of exile and enable us to overcome the seemingly impossible obstacles in our lives. As my father used to say, “The impossible just takes a little longer.” And that is true with God. Seeing his deliverance may take a little while, but it will happen.
I also like the emphasis on dual agency in these verses. God is working to achieve the impossible in our lives, but he also wants us to work. “Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.” My father also had another saying, “Work like everything depends upon you and pray as if everything depends upon God.”