I was nervous. It had come time for my beloved husband, Zachariah, to enter the sanctuary of God. Even as a priest, he would only do this once in his lifetime, and the day had arrived. I waited for him outside of the temple with the rest of the congregation, and I prayed. This was a day we would always remember. I did not know why or how, but I was sure of one thing: when you enter the presence of the Lord, you cannot leave unchanged.
I desperately wanted to appear calm, but I was becoming increasingly more anxious. Zachariah was taking too long. The people around me were growing restless, and I too could not help but wonder what Zachariah’s delay might mean. Despite my nerves, however, I smiled to myself as I thought of my husband.
Zachariah and I have grown old together. We strive to live our lives faithful to each other but more importantly faithful to God. I am thankful for the many years that the Lord has allowed me live beside this man. It has always been just me and him — for we were never able to have a baby of our own. In my heart I have longed for a child, as it has been hard to watch the women around me experience the joy of raising their own families. However, motherhood is a dream that I had to give up on long ago; I am far too old to have a child now. I trust in God, and it is through Him alone that I am able to be content in these circumstances. I try not to dwell on my lost dream, for I have far too much to be grateful for…
Finally, I heard the great doors of the temple creak open.
We all watched expectantly as Zachariah exited the temple and came towards us. Immediately, I noticed the expression on my husband’s face; I had never seen him like this before. Something was wrong, but I could not discern what it was. I watched him as he silently reached the circle that the congregation and I had created in the street. He stood beside me and looked at me with an intensity that was both comforting and confusing. Why did he not speak to me?! My anger rose as he apparently did not have anything to say for himself after this once in a lifetime experience. He had been staring at me patiently– yet desperately– waiting for me to understand. Gradually, and then all at once, the realization dawned within me. My husband could not speak.
Unbelievable, I am old! Five months have passed, and I can do nothing but express my awe at the sovereignty of God. I took some time to process everything that has happened. A dead dream, a lost longing of my heart has been reborn through the faithfulness of God. He is Healer, Creator, Sustainer. He has remedied my unfortunate circumstance. You see, I am nearing my sixth month of pregnancy. Yes, it is true! I am with CHILD. My husband became mute at the temple because he questioned the plan of the Lord. The plan that includes our son. We both learned a valuable lesson that day. I had given up on my hope of a family, and, likewise, everyone had believed that I was barren. But God redeemed it all. Humbly, I tell you today that I am living proof: nothing is impossible with God.
“Elizabeth? Hello! Elizabeth?”
That greeting is one I will always remember. It inspired and overwhelmed within me a pure, raw and unconstrained sense of JOY. At the sound of those words exclaimed by my sweet cousin, Mary, the precious baby in my womb leapt. He didn’t just move or turn or kick. He leapt. There are truly no words that could accurately describe how I felt in that moment, but it was as if every good and perfect sight and sound that I had experienced in life enveloped me. I looked at Mary, and I knew. My voice rang with joy unhindered as I cried out blessings on Mary and the miracle baby that she carried.
Mary and I are average women seeking after the Lord. We do not know everything that the future will hold, but we will not fear. We place our confidence in God alone. Father God, You make Your saving help my shield. Your right hand sustains me; Your help has made me great.1
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!
Read the Christmas series disclaimer.
Outside of scripture, we understand Elizabeth may have never felt or thought what is told here.