Good Shepherd, teach me to hear Your voice and to listen to no other.
 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, 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.  When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Reflect:WHAT PROMISES ARE YOU ASKING GOD TO REAFFIRM?
Many of us struggle with self-doubt. Imagine what it was like for Mary, and later Joseph. Were they right about the identity of their child? Once again God brought reassurance, this time through an old lady, Anna. Just like Zechariah (1:68-79), the shepherds (2:16,17) and Elizabeth (1:42), she confirmed what Gabriel had told Mary (38). This child was the one who would fulfill God’s centuries-old promises. Have you had experiences of God confirming his promises to you? God has gracious ways of helping us through our uncertainty.To the world at large, Anna–and her life–might have looked pretty insignificant, but she was one of those hidden-away people whose lives achieve more than we imagine. There are people today who may not be well known but are serious pray-ers, making more of a difference than we realize. If you know people like that, pray for them. Perhaps God may even be calling you to such a ministry. As for Mary, Joseph and Jesus, it was back to Nazareth. It will be a long time before we hear of them again. God will be working in the silence.
Do you need reassurance? Are you finding it hard to keep waiting for something? Pray for encouragement.
Lord, You are so tender. You walk with us and lead us in Your gentleness.
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