Soon after Mary returned from the hill country, where she was visiting her cousin, she had to take another trip across 90 miles of desert wilderness while being nine months pregnant.
The world didn’t care that their anticipated Savior was about to be born. It was Mary and Joseph’s secret. The answer to so many prayers was safely growing inside her tummy, and the world didn’t do a thing to make Jesus’ entry easy.
Mary and Joseph were on this journey that God set them on, but they never knew all the details. They only knew the next few steps.
They knew they were going to give birth to the Messiah. Then they knew they had to travel to Bethlehem right before Mary was expected to deliver. Beyond that, they had no other plans. They had to rely on God’s grace.
God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, and He knows what is going to happen before it ever happens. He knew what would happen before He laid the foundations of the world.
Do you ever wish God would just tell you what’s up ahead? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to plan ahead and be prepared for all that life throws at us? But that’s just not how it works. God knows better than we do, and so He only gives us the details that we can handle at that time.
The night of Jesus’ birth, as Mary labored among the cattle, I imagine, she must’ve questioned how is it that the King of the World is to be born in a manger? Born into poverty, born with nothing, not even a loving family outside the doors to celebrate his birth. No, he was born in a dirty stable.
We seem to expect God to work in the grander things in life. In actuality, God works in the most unexpected places, at the most unexpected times, in the most unexpected ways, and with the most unexpected people.
Mary and Joseph must’ve felt so alone that night. But God was with them, and as Jesus was ushered into the world, He was with them even more, as Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.
Even in our darkest days, when nothing seems to be going right, and the world seems to be against us, God is right there with us, and His plans are continuing to be fulfilled in you.
I can’t help but wonder how Mary must’ve felt that evening, as a first time mother, holding her infant child, knowing that He would one day lead the world to salvation.
She must’ve felt some sense of pride, yet in the same moment, gripped by fear, knowing the fate her son would one day suffer. Surely, she had learned about the prophecies, the ones that said He would be despised and rejected, and brutally beaten, and crucified on a tree like a criminal.
Surely she knew this. But in that moment, holding her long awaited Jesus, wrapping Him up with all that she had, some strips of fabric, or swaddling clothes, she comforted Him and nurtured Him, as only a loving mother could.
Even when we know what’s up ahead, in the times that God has allowed us to see future details, we must savor the moments that we have here and now, rather than dwelling in the future. We don’t live in the past or the future, all we have is now.
Although, most of the time we don’t know what’s ahead, and we should always be thankful for the time we have with each other now. Since, no one knows how many days God has given us, we must make the best of the current moment.
The days following Jesus’ birth, visitors came to worship the baby Jesus. An angel of God had sent out a birth announcement to a few shepherds and some wise men. These men came to see for themselves the newborn King.
And when they saw Him, they were overcome with joy, and they bowed at his feet and they worshiped Jesus.
When Mary and Joseph took their baby to the temple in Jerusalem to offer a sacrifice to the Lord, the priest, Simeon, knew right away that this child was special.
““Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”” Luke 2:29-32
You see, God was always working behind the scenes, waiting for just the right time to reveal Jesus to just the right people. It had to be done according to His plan.
Mary and Joseph allowed God to use them to carry out His purpose, and because of this many were blessed in the days after Jesus’ birth, and because of their faith and obedience, God’s plan to rescue the world from sin and darkness was set in motion.
Oh to be like Mary. To have her humble faith. To have the kind of trust she had. To have a heart that God finds favorable.
I never wish for difficult times, but if I had to choose between a life without hardship and a life without God, or a life with hardship and a life with God to see me through, I would choose the latter, over and over again.
To follow the whole series of Journey to Christmas, click here: https://jenniferjabbour.com/the-journey-to-christmas-advent-series/