Elizabeth's Story

This is a story about faith that I wrestled with and wrote in 2009.  This year, this season, it's been revisiting my heart, reminding me that dreams are worth the wait and hope is worth the heartache...

From Luke 1:5-23:

She blinked in the darkness, fuzzy images receding from her mind even as her heart grasped for them.

It was the second time the dream had visited her.  Her husband had been standing before her, his face alight with excitement and his hands waving wildly towards her.  He was cradling his arms much like he was holding an infant.  She was trying desperately to hear what he was saying, but the dream was strangely quiet.  Too quiet.  

Much like her home, she thought wryly, as she stared at the empty space beside her.  There were no sounds of children laughing, no babies whimpering, no hushed lullabies.  Her home was lonely.  She was lonely.  They were lonley.  Zechariah had been gone for eight days, serving with his division in the Temple of the Lord.  This was the usual custom of a priest and Zechariah had been a faithful one for nearly thirty years.  Thirty years of following the Lord's commands in steadfast obedience, of observing every regulation.  Thirty years of asking God for a child.

Elizabeth realized she no longer asked.  Something inside her had given up on the dream.  She had resigned herself to barrenness.  Years ago the whispers behind furtive glances had marred her soul and bruised her joy.  "God must be displeased with her", the whispers would taunt, "What secret sin has she committed", they would murmur.  She had tried to ignore the speculations and go about her roles as the wife of a priest and a descendant of Aaron with a pure heart and sincere devotion.  But there were many nights her tears would fall in the dark and she would beg God for revelation.  

Was He really displeased with her?  What could she do to earn His favor? 

Her faith was her only answer.  There on her knees she would recount the faithfulness of her Lord and find rest in the knowledge of His lovingkindness.

Time's passing had convinced her heart that her dream would never happen.  And now these unsettling visions were awakening things inside her she would rather let lie, scattering dust from old heartbreak, uncovering wounds she had learned to live with.  They were threatening her carefully constructed peace.

The night had been fitful and Elizabeth woke early to ready her home for her husband's return.  Though the meaning of her dreams still eluded her, she felt an air of expectancy, a quickening in her heart.   A noise outside drew her to the window and the sight she saw made her tremble.  A loud group of people were jostling toward her home, her husband in the middle.  His face exuded serenity and his step was light.  The crowd was calling to him, excitedly asking questions, begging for a response, but he was silent and his eyes anxiously sought hers.

It was then she knew.  God was up to something great.

In only a few short weeks her hopes were confirmed and her soul soared to new heights.

Elizabeth would give birth to her dream.  And she would name him John.

"The Lord has done this for me," she rejoiced.

(the full story of Elizabeth, Zechariah, and the foretold birth of John the Baptist is in Luke 1:5-23)

I realize that sometimes I give up on them too easily.
God-given dreams require God-given miracles.
In His time.  In His way.

After years of faithfulness, Elizabeth finally raised a son who would prepare the way for our Savior.

Her dream was delayed only because of its greatness.


Andrea said...

You have an award on arise 2 write.

~*Michelle*~ said...

I cannot even express how grateful I am that God led me here this morning....this was exactly what I was meant to read.

Thank you.....so much!!!

Merry Christmas.....I hope and pray that you are enjoying every day of this Season!

L.L. Barkat said...

"Her dream was delayed only because of its greatness." What a marvelous insight!

Thanks for stopping by Seedlings in Stone.

Mich said...

The Bible is anything but boring, filled with page after page of beautiful stories such as this one.

Beautiful. thanks for sharing it.I needed this reminder this morning.

Holly said...

Elizabeth's story is a great one and I really enjoyed being reminded of it today.

Heather said...

Thank you for writing this. I was asking God for a sign that everything would be okay for my family (very difficult financial issues right now), and I received His sign through your blog post. Thank you!!

Wylie said...

What I love is that God shows us consistently that we can't even dream, imagine, or pray big enough for Him. His plans are so abundant, so Sovereign, so Amazing!!!

Kate said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! This was what I needed to read today. Thanks for sharing with us, and challenging us to live out our God given dreams!

ServinGsus said...

Thanks so much for sharing that! Joye, as always you have given me an "on time" word. I needed that: Her dream was delayed only because of its greatness. Wow! I appreciate you, my blogging sister in Christ!

Mocha Momma said...

Isn't God so much more than we can imagine? WOW!!

I love what God has done to weave the realness of Christ throughout His word. He makes it awesome and unforgetful.

It is for all mankind. Christ our Savior is born to us & for us.

Merry Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder about delayed dreams. I needed that. Not sure why, I don't know what my dreams are now..besides being a great wife and mommy...and keeping balance. That's good enough for now.



Darlene said...

Did you write this beautiful piece of work? What a beautiful glimpse into the heart of one of God's faithful ones.

Thank you for reminding me of the "faith of waiting expectantly." A perfect reflection in Advent.

Loving your blog, girl! It has been a while since I added a new one to my "Where I Walk" blog list.

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Thanks, sweet Darlene! I did write this, I so enjoy story telling. It's my favorite art form : )

Lucy said...

Thanks for the reminder!

You have an award over at my blog today.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Thank you, sweet Joye. This is just beautiful. God has blessed you with a gift of story-telling. Your heart is so tender to His leading...and it shines through your words with such beauty. Thank you, dear friend.

Blessings to you, today...

nicole said...

the more i read your words the more i am convinced that we live parallel lives. i am pretty sure we could sit and chat for hours about dreams, waiting and knowing God has the plans for our lives written in the palm of His Almighty hands.
thank you for sharing of your heart to our hearts.

Southern Gal said...

This is beautiful, Joye. Thank you for sharing it.

bekkah said...

such a great post! i never thought of the fact that John was born at just the right time to prepare the way for Jesus and Elizabeth's pregnancy was at just the right time to encourage Mary. thanks for posting!! :]


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