He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. Ephesians 2:17 (NIV)
What I love about this time of the year is that I can walk into almost any store or doctor’s office and hear music about the birth of our Savior. It is the only time of the year that hearing about our Savior is “politically correct.” It’s also a time to reflect on the events of the birth of Jesus and how they apply to our lives.
As you decorate the tree and the house and are in the kitchen baking this season, here are a few things to reflect on surrounding the birth of Jesus:
God often hems us in so that we realize only He can rescue us.
Mary was definitely hemmed in. Here she is pregnant, unmarried and no way out. God has chosen her to carry the Christ child. Somehow I don’t think it “felt” like she had found favor with God. Yet, that’s exactly how she found herself in this position. And…there was no way out. The only way was to trust God through it.
Do you find yourself hemmed in with no way out? This just might be God’s favor in your life; a place where He has you, so you will see Him. Ask God what He wants to do in your life during this time. He loves it when we want to see more of Him and He anxiously waits for us to ask.
Keep pressing in when the road is hard.
Imagine being nine months pregnant and traveling 90 miles by foot, possibly on a donkey, over extremely mountainous terrain. The closest thing I have to compare to this is hiking in the mountains in good weather and not pregnant. That is hard at its best. Mary had to endure several days of this and the weather that time of the year was most likely rainy. Yet, she pressed on to where she was going. It was hard, but she did it.
And I know what you’re thinking…no wonder she gave birth when she got there!
God will always provide.
God does always provide, however, I don’t think His provision is what we think it should be. They didn’t get a nice hotel room in Bethlehem. There were no hospital beds available. Instead, God provided a humble, lowly place for the birth of His Son. Among the barn animals. And Mary and Joseph humbly accepted it.
How many times have you and I missed God’s provision in our lives simply because we weren’t willing to see it, thinking that we know better what the provision should look like?
God never leaves us alone.
God sent out birth announcements in the form of angels. He sent shepherds and Magi to visit the babe. Not the usual family members we are used to seeing at the birth of a child into the family, but none-the-less, Mary and Joseph were not left alone.
Do you feel alone? I do at times. And during these moments, God has brought the most unexpected people into my life. Set aside the expectations of who you think should be in your life and allow God to bless you with unexpected visitors.
It’s okay to not see the big picture.
Sure Mary most likely knew what Scripture foretold of the birth of the Messiah. But can you imagine getting your brain around how all of this was going to go down? Mary pondered in her heart the things concerning her son.
Are you a ponderer? I find myself pondering things when I see God at work in different ways in my life and the lives of those I love. It’s okay to not see the big picture. Let’s face it, if Mary had seen the bigger picture of what God had planned for her son, she might have just cut and run. God shows us what we need to know at the time we need to know it.
In the midst of chaos, Jesus brings peace.
The trip to Bethlehem was over. The labor and delivery were behind them. In that moment, in the middle of all the chaos of the barn, Mary held her newborn Son and looked on His face for the first time…and so did God. Imagine the joy not only on Mary’s face but also on God’s, to see His Son in the flesh, in whom He was well pleased. His only Son to be conceived in such a way. Jesus, who would come and save you and me from our sins so that we may live forever in relationship with Him.
As you celebrate the birth of our Savior, may you know the grace and peace of the One who loves you and who came to save you.
As we close out the year 2018, we reflect on all Jesus has done through our prayers for children and schools throughout the world. We thank Him and praise Him that He is our Savior!
To start off 2019, we ask you to join us for the Global Day of Prayer and Fasting January 9th, a day of fasting and prayer for the children and schools around the globe.
Tina Chambers Smith is a speaker, writer, author and founder of Raising Kids on Your Knees, a ministry focused on equipping Moms and Dads to pray and parent life into the lives of our children. She has seen the power of prayer in her own children’s lives and believes there is no better way for us as moms to raise our children than on our knees in daily prayer for them. Tina resides with her husband, Rod, in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Together they have four children and two grandchildren.