Lord Bless This Mess
The Passion Translation
The Birth of Jesus
2 1–2 During those days, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, ordered that the first census be taken throughout his empire. (Quirinius was the governor of Syria at that time.) 3 Everyone had to travel to the hometown of their family to complete the mandatory census. 4–5 So Joseph and his wife, Mary, left Nazareth, a village in Galilee, and journeyed to their hometown in Judea, to the village of Bethlehem, King David’s ancient home. They were required to register there, since they were both direct descendants of David. Mary was pregnant and nearly ready to give birth.
6–7 When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped the newborn baby in strips of cloth, and Mary and Joseph laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village.
Slowly, but surely, I'm learning that my plans and desires can sometimes get in the way of God’s plans and desires for my life. If I am really being honest, I still struggle from time to time with the reality that my life was breathed into existence by a loving Father, who knows exactly what I need and only desires the best for me. Especially, when the circumstances of life are causing my flesh to believe the opposite. It’s in the moments of extreme discomfort and pain that my humanity begins to scream, “abort mission, fend for yourself!” Then, I begin to look for an easier and more comfortable substitute to replace the situation the Lord has called me to. I wonder sometimes, how many times have I allowed myself to stall out what Jesus was doing through me because I was afraid to trust Him as He unravelled His plan in my life?
It really renews my respect and admiration for Mary and all she endured to be the courier for the Savior of the world when I read Luke 2. It’s humbling to think about. You couldn’t have picked a worse time and situation for a person to give birth. Traveling close to 100 miles at 9 months pregnant on, most likely, a donkey, Mary and Joseph arrive in a foreign town and discover it’s time to give birth to their mystery miracle baby. I wonder as Mary was wrapping her newborn baby in spare clothes and laying Him in a feed trough if at any point she thought, “this is too hard and crazy and can’t be God.”? I can’t imagine the emotional turmoil and stress she was dealing with. Yet despite being far from home, away from her family, way outside her comfort zone and inside what amounted to a town barn, God decided this was the perfect time and place for Emmanuel to enter the world. Yet, as we all know, Mary and Joseph endured, and something happened that no human planning could ever concoct. The Word became flesh and God entered the world so that we could know Him and have intimate relationship with Him. Jesus was born. What a grand entrance!
God’s got a funny habit of creating and entering what looks like a worldly mess to build His eternal Kingdom. Sometimes the best thing we can do to partner with Him is to swallow what we don't understand, commit to yielding to whatever it looks like and carry an enduring yes into wherever He’s leading. Like I said earlier, I'm learning, sometimes God leads us into the messiest, most uncomfortable places to reveal His glory in our lives. I just hope that I am getting better at getting my flesh out of the way.