Anna, the widow

I thought I knew the gospels inside and out. Or at least knew the gist of the story. But since Christmas I have been listening to this amazing CD collection of the Bible called “The Bible Experience” and so many things have grabbed my attention as I’ve driven to work and back. For instance, take this:

Luke 2:36-38 There was also a prophet, 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 had been a widow for eighty-four years. 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.

Can you imagine? This lady was married for 7 years when her husband died. She was a widow for 84 years after that! I don’t even know how old she had to have been when this story takes place. But she spent that entire time in the temple worshiping…day and night. I don’t know about you, but that probably wouldn’t have been my first response. Her and God must’ve been close…because did you notice how she suddenly recognized that Jesus was the very redemption of Jerusalem that had been promised? You can’t recognize something like that if you weren’t in constant communion with God. I’ve never known about this woman until today. Never even knew she existed. Somehow, I must’ve just skimmed or skipped these three verses all these years. But now that I know about it, I have a few questions I’d like to ask Anna:

1. Was your first response after your husband’s death to go to the temple and worship and praise God? Weren’t you mad at God? Weren’t you even remotely angry..did you ever demand justice or insist on a better lot in life?

2. Did you want another husband? Was that even the custom back then…i dont know. But didn’t you want one?

3. Why did you choose to worship day and night for so long? How did you get through those dry spiritual times when the last thing you wanted to do was get up and pray and worship God?

4. Im curious what your reward was once you got to heaven for your faithfulness and devotion to God?

5. What did you do when you got lonely? Didn’t you want a human companion?

6. If you could re-write your life story, would you choose that life all over again? If so, why?

Someday I’m going to ask Anna these things. Because right now, I just can’t fathom how this lady’s life is possible. Funny how many questions 3 verses can spark.

The Bible is pretty amazing when you actually read it.

What questions would you ask Anna?

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