I share this story in honor of my mother, who passed away December 22, 2017. She was the most impossible person in my life who died my best friend. Through my determination to reach her heart before she passed, a learned a few things about reaching hearts and the purposes of God in women’s—relatives’ lives. I hope this message blesses and inspires you, which I wrote in 1990. It is the story of the two women behind the birth of Christ: Mary and Elizabeth.
Most people think that Christmas is a time of celebrating Christ’s birth, But Christmas is first the story of two special women here on earth.
This story I am going to share is God’s message to your heart, So listen up, I’m about to start.
Together let’s go back some 2,000 years And examine the lives to two spiritual peers.
One’s name was Mary, whom some say was just a teen, The other’s, Elizabeth, was too old to be seen.
Now to Mary an angel appeared one night. The divine interruption caused her great fright.
But the angel said, “Cool your jets sweetheart, For to you a vision I’m about to impart.”
You will conceive and give birth to God’s son, For your destiny’s appointment has finally come.
What’s more, your relative Elizabeth is almost due, You see she’s pregnant with a very important Jew.
For with God, nothing is impossible you know. He’s able to bring down the proud, and lift up the low—ly.
Mary’s response was one of admirable submission, “May it be to me as you have said,” was her admission.
Now the point I want to convey is quite clear, So listen up, this I want you to hear.
All this happened while Mary was preparing for her wedding, But instead of going to Joseph’s, to Elizabeth’s she was heading.
Just think of Mary giving up prime romance time, To visit her old relative without even a murmur or a whine.
Consider this too, she wasn’t just going across the street, It was a hundred mile, five day journey before these two women would meet.
Mary couldn’t call ahead on her cellular phone, With no prior notice, Mary left for Liz’s home.
Mind you, to Liz’s Southwest had no discounted route, With no Mastercard, Mary certainly had no financial clout.
In simple faith to the angel’s word Mary responded to what she heard.
The Scripture says out of town she did hurry, Leaving behind her lover without even a worry.
The reason behind her actions is difficult to perceive. Why was it important for this young maiden to leave?
Let’s take a deeper look into this story With a little insight we’ll discover some meaning, and some of God’s glory.
Now imagine the total sense of loneliness Mary must have had, To be the only one in history to conceive without the baby’s dad.
No one in the world could identify with Mary’s feelings, Except for someone else who could relate to supernatural dealings.
That person was an old woman, Once barren, now miraculously pregnant with a son.
Yes, Elizabeth could believe Mary’s story at this stage, Because of her own story of conceiving well past age.
In spending time with Elizabeth, Mary would find comfort, Whereas hanging around Joseph, she could have been hurt.
In Elizabeth, Mary found understanding and confirmation, Instead of feeling isolation, she felt elation.
For when Mary and Elizabeth finally greeted, With joy and blessing Mary was treated.
Aunt Liz never said, “Hey, my own morning sickness I’m feeling. I can’t be concerned with your prenatal healing.”
She never said, “Don’t bother me. I’ve been in five month’s seclusion. Your coming here is just some heavenly delusion.”
She never scolded Mary for no advance notice. No, there was no sign of anything but bliss.
There was John the Baptist in the womb doing stunts. What a welcome of Mary’s stay of three months!
God’s bringing together of these two women in Him, A more loving plan there couldn’t have been.
At the same time in two individual, but related lives, Was a greater sovereign work, God’s so wise.
Strengthening one another prior to the birth of their visions in the Lord, What a joy it must have been, even to God, to see them in such one accord.
God in His infinite grace and wisdom from above Entwined a barren old woman and young maiden in divine love.
The story ends with Mary returning home just before Elizabeth is due We can now raise the question, “What does all of this mean to me and you?”
I thought you’d never ask. I’m now going to end this rhyme, but will continue sharing from my heart for a few more moments of time.
Travel with me now some 2,000 years ahead in time, to your town. Drive down your main street, turn into your driveway. Peer into another meeting of Marys and Elizabeths.
In your life, there are many Marys, that is, young saints of God who are about to give birth to a vision, women who need an Elizabeth.
In your life, there are many Elizabeths, seasoned saints of God, who have experienced a lot of life and a lot of God. Perhaps, however, you are feeling a little barren, and a little lonely. You are having trouble realizing that someone else could empathize with your feelings. You need the encouragement and refreshment of a Mary.
Now I am talking about more than the linking up of two friends. I’m talking about receiving what you are lacking in your spirit.
The name “Mary” means “incense unto God.” Mary represents that which is fresh, fragrant, delightful, savory, holy, worshipful, prayerful, new. The name Elizabeth means “my God has sworn.” Elizabeth represents that which is steadfast, true, full of promise, unchanging, faithful, and perhaps “old.”
What will it take for the spirit of Mary to link up with the spirit of Elizabeth? What will it take in your life in those places that need the affirmation of an Elizabeth to link up with the freshness of a Mary? What will it take in your life to break out of those potentially lonely places to experience the loveliness that God has in store for you? It will take the same thing it took Mary and Elizabeth. It will take risking relationship.
Both Mary and Elizabeth had to risk relationship in order for each one to receive the fullness that God had intended for them prior to the birthing of their visions. Consider the stigma placed on both.
When Mary surrendered to the will of God she gave up the last vestige of living for herself. She risked losing Joseph and any hopes for happiness in marriage. She laid her reputation in the community on the line when she surrendered to the will of God. Her very life was at stake, for a woman to be found with child out of wedlock was to be stoned to death under the Law.
Consider Elizabeth. It was a shameful thing for a woman to be barren. In Bible times, it was considered to be a punishment from God for a woman to be childless. Often friends and relatives questioned their piety. Women often suffered reproach from others, as their family and friends wrongly judged her, thinking, “If she was right with God, He would bless her with children.”
Mary was going to stay with a woman who was looked down upon in society. She had to overlook the stigma of shame attached to Elizabeth. Elizabeth had to overlook the possible consequences of Mary’s situation. She would be welcoming into her home a woman who potentially deserved death. With so much going against them in the natural, what was it that enabled them to link up with one another to find the fullness of God in their relationship?
The answer is simple. Both Mary and Elizabeth had submitted their relationships to His Lordship. They were able to experience the flow of God in their lives because they allowed God to be in control. As such, they could respond to the spirit, and without fear. And in doing so, instead of experiencing loneliness and confusion, they both experienced comfort and consolation. God has a Mary for every Elizabeth, and an Elizabeth for every Mary.
Don’t miss your divine appointment this Christmas season. God has a Mary or Elizabeth for you! Open up your eyes and heart to see her….and don’t be afraid to cross the great divide of differences to connect spirit to spirit. He wants to bless you!
There was someone in my life with whom I felt “the great divide.” It was my mother. But it was precisely my mother to whom God was sending me to be my Elizabeth.
The most impossible person in my life was my mother. I prayed for 25 years, “God don’t take my mother until I know her.” At 85, when she was given 6 months to live due ot a terminal heart condition, I knew it was my season to get to know Mom. I tried everything to reach her, but nothing worked until I took Mom out on the golf course. I taught her how to play golf at 85! It was amazing! Mom and I developed a perfect friendship on the golf course. Our friendship grew. At 88, I helped her start her own house-cleaning business, and took her on a legacy vacation to Nova Scotia. At 89, she started public speaking. At 90, I entered her into her first golf tournament, the Grandma Open, which I created just for her! At 91, she died my best friend. Together, and through the grace of God, we turned 6 months into 7 years—and created a whole new legacy for us in her latter days. If God can do it for us, He can do it for you!!
An additional application to the Mary/Elizabeth story:
Christmas is a time when families get together, and so often there is great joy, and so often there is great pain. Celebration and loneliness. Joy and bitterness. Love and estrangement. I believe that God wants to do a work in families this Christmas—to bring a leap of hope in the womb of your family this Christmas. I believe God wants to build bridges, carve out destinies, fashion fresh hope, grant understanding, have you unwrap gifts of encouragement and faith. How will it happen? By taking the same steps Mary and Elizabeth did:
- They responded to the inner voice of the Spirit. What is God prompting you to do?
- Mary traveled the distance to see Elizabeth. Sometimes it is stressful to put forth the effort to travel and pay the price to make the trip—but do it!
- They both looked beyond social stigmas. Okay, your Aunt Betty may be losing her memory and tell how when she grew up she only had one pair of shoes, so why do you need another pair—but there is a treasure of God in her for you if you will look beyond the things that separate you to the things that bring you together.
- They shared something in common: They were both pregnant. Share what you have in common that brings you together, and gets you looking forward.
- God was accomplishing His divine will through relatives. Many times we do not believe in a divine purpose with our families—we may believe in demonic purpose! God wants us to believe in something good—and to receive His good. Open your heart to the new thing God wants to do.
- Their visit had limits. After three months Mary returned home. Know your limits on your trip. Don’t stay longer than what drains you of your energy and spirit. Many people say three days is a good amount of time to spend with relatives. Don’t feel guilty for not feeling able to stay longer. Creating a lasing memory is more important than how long the visit lasts.
- Be courageous. Both Mary and Elizabeth took relational risks to connect. Take your risk in the Lord. Guard your heart and go!
If you want a more detailed coach training on how to get a relationship turnaround or special connection with a loved one this Christmas, please visit:
I will show you how to send out a shot of joy!
Author, The Mary-Elizabeth Story
Founder, True Champion Coaching