Gracefully Truthful


Read His Words Before Ours!

Exodus 7
Exodus 12
Luke 1:5-25
Luke 1:57-64
Lamentations 3:19-33

Elizabeth’s Story
It was my favorite time of year; Passover

As a young girl, I loved listening to my father recount the stories of God rescuing our people from slavery in Egypt. God’s merciful patience toward Pharaoh was clearly seen as He sent plague after plague warning him to free us. (Exodus 7) Yet, Pharaoh’s refusal to worship Yahweh came at a high price

The Passover meal was our opportunity to offer worship to the Lord
who had been, and still was,
faithful and loving to His people. (Exodus 12)

This particular Passover year marked my first with my new husband, Zechariah! As he prepared our single lamb according to Yahweh’s ancient instruction, I dreamed of years to come and a table overflowing with children.

My heart swelled to think of Zechariah teaching our future sons to prepare the meat. I could see him bouncing our future daughter playfully while telling our children the same stories our fathers had told us going back thousands of generations. 

Several decades later…
The first year hadn’t been so bad. 
But year one turned into five.
Then ten.

Each Passover, I still pictured small children running around our feet and playing on Zechariah during story time. He faithfully recounted those stories each year, but they fell on my ears alone. Those dreamy boys and girls now looked more like ghosts in my head, like fragments of a quickly fading dream.

Though my dreams dissolved, Zechariah, meanwhile, never faltered in his priestly duties. When he came home at night, tired from carrying the weight of our people in the name of the Lord, he didn’t falter in loving me well. Sometimes he held me while I wept. Sometimes he prayed with me when I couldn’t muster the faith to speak. Sometimes we sang our favorite psalms together. Always he led me, reminding me the Lord’s ways are greater than our own. Zechariah insisted we would not stop praising His name. Inside the shelter of his faith, my own faith was beginning to flourish.

Zechariah’s Story
I just simply couldn’t believe. 

I never meant to doubt Him. I’m a dedicated priest; I love serving the Lord!
Yet we are so old, how could Elizabeth and I possibly conceive after living so long with an empty womb? I’d long accepted my lot was to forgo a heritage of physical sons, instead investing in the sons of Israel as priest.

But, clearly, having received a consequence for lack of faith, somewhere along the way, I had excluded Yahweh from my plans. Perhaps bitterness even stained my lost dreams. I sighed heavily, I knew the Lord was right  to remove my physical voice, for my spiritual one had ceased its zealous veneration for the Holy One.

I had given up the deep places of faith in view of my loss, preferring facades and the shallow end of “trust” over deep waters of surrender. It insulated my heart from feeling pain while carrying out priestly motions.   

My heart raced at Elizabeth’s certain joy! I would gladly give up my voice the rest of my days to make her happy, but I knew something had shifted for my wife in recent years. She no longer relied on me for joy and comfort; she had knit herself in faith to Yahweh.

As her body aged, her faith, once floundering, took root as we practiced worshiping together. She was coming alive, despite grief. I shook my head, deeply gripped, for I knew an exchange had taken place in me as well. Where she worshiped and trusted in surrender, I held back, quietly stowing my bitterness, letting my lips form words I no longer believed.

No more, I determined. If the Lord returned my voice, I would use it to speak of His eternal goodness. (Psalm 136)

Forgiveness washed over rough edges inside as I lifted my eyes toward home. I was without a voice, but I was being made new

Elizabeth’s Story
I thought Zechariah might topple over from how hard I wrapped my arms around his neck when he told me the news! We would have a baby! A boy named John who was set apart for God’s work. Praise the Lord! Yahweh is faithful! My heart overflows. 

I was already on the roof of our home with my knees on a pillow and my face to the floor in thankful prayer before Zechariah could even right himself.

This was Yahweh’s doing and for all my days, I would give Him praise. My heart’s dreams, though painful for many years, had been surrendered as faith grew from praise. The Lord’s goodness was not determined by circumstance. Empty house or full, He was my portion! (Lamentations 3:24)

Several months later…
“Lord,” I whispered into the morning. “You have surpassed my wildest dreams. You always have a plan and have never once forgotten us. We worship You today as we did yesterday and as we did when we were just kids, preparing a lamb for our first Passover. The more we know You, the deeper our praise!

You are a loving God, faithful to Your people, despite how it may appear. You have prepared my heart to give my son back to You with open hands; You have formed John for Your glory! You knew his little heart would one day beat for Your purposes. We praise You, Yahweh, for You hold all things together. Bless this Passover meal as we look to You for all things. Amen!”

Fearful to Hopeful
A cardboard testimony from the author

I have always been one to worry about the “what ifs” in life. As a child, I worried about every step I took, and all the ones I might take. To this day, I struggle with anxiety and fear, but Christ has given me a place to lay down those fears and anxieties when they grow too heavy for my shoulders.

Like Elizabeth’s story, He unwraps my fears when I choose worship.
(Philippians 4:4-7)

He reminds me He holds all things together and, in gratitude and obedience, He offers freedom from fear. Whatever life holds, I know He will one day welcome me into eternal life by His side. May my lips ever praise Him! (Psalm 34:1-3


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