Elizabeth set the ingredients out for her special unleavened bread. Zacharias would be home soon. She knew how much he loved her fresh bread. The 23rd Psalm hummed from her mouth.
A hand on each side startled her. Flour went everywhere, including her hair.
She spun around and found her husband smiling from ear-to-ear. She noticed a sack and a scroll on the table.
Zacharias stepped back, pointed at her then at himself. He folded his arms with his palms facing upward and rocked side-to-side. The smile in his eyes was one Elizabeth recognized from the past.
She slapped his arm. “You scared me to death, old man. What ‘s got into you? You’re usually talking non-stop about what happened at the temple while you were on duty. How old was that juice they served? I think it was beginning to work.”
He walked to the table and returned with a mandrake.
She smiled. “That’s what I like about being married to a priest. You guys get the first-fruits of everything. I was just in the market and I couldn’t find any of these.”
He raised the fruit to her mouth and winked.
Her teeth broke the surface and splashed juice down her chin. Her thoughts immediately returned to the years they ate these to try to conceive. A twinge of heart-ache broke her again.
His finger wiped the nectar from her chin before he took a bite. Once they finished that piece he dusted flour from her hair before he led her by the hand to the bed.
Elizabeth spent the next five months wondering why she ever envied other women who complained about morning-sickness.
After five months she couldn’t put off going to the market. Zac just couldn’t seem to be able to communicate what she needed.
Her women friends stared at her as she approached. A gust of wind blew her clothes against her belly. The news spread quicker than a wildfire.
A month later Elizabeth was preparing lunch when the door opened. She looked over her shoulder to see Zac tapping the scroll again and staring at the corner of the room.
The voice of Mary sent the fetus in her womb for a loop. Not a mere twitch of restlessness, either. No, this was sheer joy. Elizabeth spun around and faced her niece. She didn’t know where the sudden awareness came from, but her mouth spoke her heart.
“Who am I that the mother of my Lord should grace me with her presence? Blessed are you for believing the word spoken to you and blessed is He in your womb. My own child danced at the sound of your voice.”
Mary rushed to her and they shared a special embrace that would extend through the next three months.
I’m sure Elizabeth didn’t know the course her life would take. Who does? I’m sure she wouldn’t want to trade that moment of commonality with Mary for a dozen children.
The stigma she carried around like a plague her entire life vanished in that second. Those two women carried the two most anticipated boys in human history.
I’m confident she was convinced her time of usefulness was long gone. We can only guess how many times she cried herself to sleep when she imagined a crib in the corner of the room.
But then God stepped in and changed her whole experience. Her wait was over. Her son would go on to become the one who would prepare hearts for the Messiah.
What regrets are you carrying around on your shoulders? What breaks your heart whenever you think about it?
Give it to God. He stays awake all night already. He longs to carry that burden for you. But, you have to bring it to Him and set it at the foot of His throne.
Then, expect a surprise. He may not bring about the outcome you expect. It will likely be better.
I think Elizabeth was extremely content with her own pregnancy. Then, Mary comes along with the One who was greater than her own fetus.
The three months those two women shared had to be the most precious for each of them.
God has a way of breaking our limited anticipations in His time, especially when we have to wait for an answer.
I have a feeling Elizabeth mentored Mary in countless ways, while Mary advised Elizabeth in prenatal care from her experiences with her own mother carrying Mary’s younger siblings. These are merely a writer’s ponderings, but why wouldn’t God grant a double blessing this way?
I hope you’ve established a community of peers around you. Make sure they’re heading the same God-honoring direction you long to go. No friends are better than the wrong friends.
Make the effort to seek out others you hope to emulate and those you hope to guide.
If you’re younger look for someone who’ll guide you in your decisions. You’d be surprised how many elder women would love to share their experiences with someone. You’ll never know if you never ask.
Older women should seek out a promising younger woman to lead. Many would love to be coached in their life. You’ll never connect if you don’t get to know them.
These same principals apply to men as well.
You may be brushed aside by someone who’s too busy. Perhaps they’re in a stage of life where they don’t have extra time to help another out. Maybe they’re in the process of learning the priority of importance.
Do your best to keep enough margin in your life to be able to help others out. Not everything is about making money. Impacting people is more long-lasting. One-on-one seems to have the strongest impact.
The choice is yours. You can go through life concentrating on meeting your own desires and goals. Or, you can help others along their road of life.
It’s been my experience as a truck driver that the best people share the road.
I’ll see you later. Wade