Luke 2:36-38 (The Message)

36-38Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

I love Anna and I love her story.

Born in the last quarter of a 400-year silence, her life – with all of it’s tears and tragedy – is wedged somewhere between Malachi and Matthew (a dark season if ever there was one.) In addition, she has the distinction of having been married just seven years before becoming a widow – not for 5 years or 10 years, but for 84 – for all the years she has left. The woman has so many reasons to give up or get mad, but she chooses a completely different plan. Instead of sitting around, soaking in the puddle of her circumstances, she runs to the House of the Lord for refuge…and it becomes her reason for living.

Day and night, night and day, Anna prays.
And worships.
And waits.

All that time in the presence of the invisible God positions her to recognize the flesh-and-blood-God the minute she sees Him. In fact, it seems like her spirit sees Him long before her aging eyes ever catch a glimpse, and as soon as the facts sink in, she’s telling the world about what she just found. I don’t think Anna would have traded her 84 years of aloneness for that one look at God.

There must be some seriously significant principles in this tiny little story, because rarely do I run into a life story that looks so sad and yet makes me so envious. I want to see God. I want to run to His House and find my hope there. I want to announce His arrival to a dying generation. I want to worship day and night, night and day, in the good and bad and dark and light and quiet and noisy seasons of my life. Such a lovely story.

Beautiful Anna.


  1. such a lovely post! and 2 days in a row!

    thanks for the insights Bo!

  2. You’re insight is awesome, God has blessed you with such a rad talent for thinking outside the box and presenting it in practical ways… so thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are stinking inspired without a doubt! I love reading your take on… everything.

  3. Bo,

    This post made me cry…and also relate to your emotions of envy and sadness too. What an amazing woman and what an amazing example of LIFE!


  4. I missed this one…lovely…truly lovely.

    Lord we run to You…because no one else will do!