Which is harder to imagine?
- A trip on a four-legged beast without heat, reclining seats, or a radio?
- Heading anywhere without MapQuest or Google Maps?
Complicate the scenario with a first-time, full-term pregnancy; a journey not for pleasure but required by unjust law; and an unspecified destination with no room reservations.
Joseph and Mary set out on their arduous journey with all of those complications in full play:
- The supernatural pregnancy was not sought, expected, or fully comprehended. It was rife with social and relational challenges, stretching the couple’s faith in God and their commitment to each other.
- The decree was unreasonable, inconvenient, and burdensome, ordered by a Godless Roman unjustly governing a land that belonged to the Jews.
- They traveled to the town of Joseph’s lineage, knowing the route but no details – and without layette, bassinet, or midwife.
And, yet, the God who goes before them (and us) was present. Though the particulars of overbooked lodgings, an unsanitary delivery room, and a feeding-trough-cradle appall us, God had orchestrated those details, just as He orchestrates ours.
It may be that you’re also traveling an unfamiliar road, in trying circumstances, dealing with inadequate conditions. Be assured of this – God is present on the journey, covering the details, offering grace, and awaiting your arrival.
And, who knows? There may be angels, shepherds, and gift-bearers somewhere in your future.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” -1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
*This blog post was originally written by Barbara Higby, former Publications Coordinator and parent at Hawthorne Christian Academy. To view more of her posts, visit barbarahigbyhope.com.