and ramblings on everything in between
When we see signs and ornaments and wrapping paper reminding us to believe this holiday season, I’m sure most of us are reminded to believe in Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas. It’s a time of wonder when anything is possible if we simply believe.
We recently discussed the Christmas story with the youth group at my church, pointing out to the students that Joseph’s instinct was probably to run when Mary told him she was pregnant with someone else’s child, let alone God’s child. I’m sure that was a hard pill to swallow and a difficult conversation to comprehend, but he chose to stay by her side and believe.
In Luke 2, we are told that Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem as part of the census, causing them to travel for a week (give or take) while Mary was days away from having her baby. When the get to the town, they find out there is no room for them to stay in, no place that has a vacancy. I’ve never been pregnant, and I’ve never had to travel on a donkey for a week, but I imagine Mary wasn’t comfortable at all during the journey. Oh the joy to finally arrive and rest her aching body – just to find out that no one has a bed for her to stay in.
I think my reaction would have been, “What the heck, God?! You asked me to carry your child, we had to travel this long distance, and now we have no where to stay? I’M ABOUT TO DELIVER THIS BABY! The least you could have done is provide us with a room. Thanks, God. Thanks for nothing.”
Mary, being of pure heart, probably never thought these things. Perhaps she chose to believe.
There were multiple times this year when God had to take me by the shoulders and say, “You’ve got to trust me.” From cutting up my credit card and eliminating my safety net against life, to coping with anxiety and many sleepless nights after the mugging, to fearing for my job during the acquisition. None of these things passed by without a fight from me, yet here I am doing just fine. All that worrying for nothing.
Mary might have asked a lot of why’s during the whole experience, but because she trusted God a savior was born. Because of Jesus, we can have eternal life. In honor of Mary and her plight, I want the believe ornament on my tree to hold a new meaning. I want it to remind me to believe that God knows what He is doing. Even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it’s not what I want, even if it means giving up something I love. It’s not about me, it’s about Him, and to make that happen, I have to believe.
What are you doing this Christmas to put a little more Jesus into your celebration? I hope you take a moment to remember and give thanks for what this season is really all about.