Unlike Mary, Jesus’s mother, and Zechariah, John the Baptist’s dad, my husband and I didn’t see angels when we learned we would be parents. Medical tests one December confirmed our first child was under construction. Our Christmas miracle.
Other confirmations seemed less wonderful. Entering Grandma’s kitchen Christmas morning, I nearly fainted. The fragrance of spareribs, usually mouth-watering, spun my stomach onto a Tilt-A-Whirl™ ride. Our teeny-tiny daughter, who later adored Christmas cookies, ate zero that day.
Soon my waistline and feet vanished. One guy, playing a game at my couples’ shower, guessed my belly diameter measured seven feet. He shouldn’t have lived to procreate. Because his wife was my friend, I allowed it.
Given pregnancy and delivery, how does the human race continue?
Yet, according to Dr. Luke’s biblical account, devout, elderly Zechariah and Elizabeth longed for that miracle. Marginalized because of infertility, they had lost hope.
Then Gabriel, an angel, appeared to the freaked-out priest, proclaiming they’d have a son.
Even an angel couldn’t convince Zechariah. Still, as Elizabeth’s baby bump swelled under old-lady dresses, his faith grew.
Meanwhile, Gabriel visited teenaged Mary in Nazareth and greeted her as the soon-to-be mother of the Messiah.
Mary was engaged, not married. She hadn’t been with Joseph or anyone else. This intruder was delusional, maybe dangerous. If I’d been Mary, I would’ve called 911.
Instead, she listened — and believed he came from God. Mary offered herself to whatever He had in store.
Gabriel also said Elizabeth was pregnant, too.
This, Mary had to see. Had Gabriel shared God’s truth? Or was that stranger crazier than she?
When big-bellied Elizabeth greeted Mary as the mother of her Lord, Mary’s festering doubts disappeared.
Elizabeth knew. Mary didn’t have to explain. Or hide.
The pregos could tell their stories without boring each other. They could gripe about swelling feet. They agreed that neither could stand spareribs.
Both, however, had developed cravings for pickled goat. If Zechariah balked at buying it, Mary would.
With her young body, she accomplished tasks creaky Elizabeth couldn’t. But the older woman’s lifelong faith, despite hardship, strengthened the teenager’s. God, who already had done miracles, wasn’t finished yet.
Because He gave those women each other, Elizabeth could face people asking if John was her grandson. Mary could go home to her parents. Face Joseph. Face rabbis who might throw rocks.
Mary would need more miracles. Still, God wasn’t finished yet.
Because Mary accepted stressing along with blessing, Jesus came and redeemed humankind.
Today, His miracles may also include not-so-spiritual complications, some nastier than morning sickness. Some, perhaps dreams come true.
He’s not finished yet.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you think He will work in 2022?