While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. – Luke 2:6-7
Mary was not married, yet she found herself expecting a baby. Joseph, Mary’s betrothed, felt blindsided and betrayed. He wanted to end the engagement. Mary was nearing her due date when there was a census being held. This meant they had to travel to Bethlehem, as that is where Joseph’s family line came from. Imagine Mary traveling on a donkey with a round belly. When they arrived, they were told there was no room at the inn, no place to lay their heads. They had to make due elsewhere. And this is where Mary had her baby. Not in the comfort and familiarity of her own home.
With all these obstacles, did Mary and Joseph wonder if God had deserted them? If this baby was from God, wouldn’t all their plans work out perfectly? Was God still there? Or did He forget about them? Was He going to let them figure this all out on their own?
Many things in this story appeared to be going “wrong.” There were many unexpected moments and events that occurred. Things were a bit unorthodox and messy. Perhaps some of us would have felt frustrated, or maybe even angry, if we had to face these issues. Yet out of this unusual and messy scenario came a Savior. A small baby named Jesus was born. The Messiah. The Prince of Peace. Emmanuel. God with us. In time, He would save us from our sins. Out of an unusual and messy situation came the perfect Lamb of God.
When I think about all the inconveniences that occurred around the first Christmas, it gives me peace. Why? Because our lives can be very messy too. There are many things in our lives that appear to be wrong or unconventional on the surface. We face many issues, big and small, day after day. There are a lot of things that come our way which we would rather not face, if we had a choice. At times we might get irritated with life. We might wonder if God forgot about us. We might think He deserted us. But just like with the events that occurred over 2,000 years ago, we can rest assured knowing that God is in control. God is working all things out for good. God is still on the throne.
If you are walking in His will and if you are seeking Him with all your heart, you can have peace when life hands you difficulties. God will be by your side, just like He was by Mary and Joseph’s sides. He is there, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Peace can be yours in any situation when you place your life in the Lord’s hands. Christmas is one day out of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior. But on the remaining 364 days in the year, we still have Jesus, we can still worship our Savior, and we can still have peace.