The song always plays this time of year, “Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?” “Did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?” “Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?” “That sleeping child you hold is the great I Am”. It gives me cause to consider how it all began.
I’ve heard countless sermons on the words from Luke 2, but I’ve never really seen what I’m seeing today that fits with where life finds itself in our home. What did the people think as they realized that their Messiah was a baby? Did anyone feel deflated or disappointed that it wasn’t the way they expected life to be? I’ve never really heard anyone talk about that.
Jesus came as a baby in the dark of night in the most unlikely place, a stable filled with animals. I wonder as I think of it all what those who had been waiting for His arrival felt when they heard. Could anyone see the birth of an innocent babe to be the coming of their salvation? Life had been hard for a long time. They had waited for a rescue and a baby shows up?
As I contemplate it I can imagine, just for a minute, the weariness of a world gone bad. It’s easy to feel that when life’s demands beat at your door.
I can feel it these days as one job application after another for David is met with silence. We’ve had a hard couple of weeks where all has felt so very lost. Two jobs that we thought would open didn’t, leaving us a bit dazed and confused. The question can come through my mind quickly. Where is the deliverance of God? Things often look way different than you imagined.
A baby silently slips into the dark of night and though He will save the world from itself the wait will not be a short one. Thirty years will go by before He arrives on the scene to begin his journey to that which will seal the deal, His death, burial and resurrection.
It’s not a neatly packaged storyline that one can figure out. It’s not the pomp and circumstance one would imagine for the King of Kings. Truth is, in the end, it looks like the world has won as the nails go pounding into his hands and feet.
We know the end of the story as we had accounts to read about but think of those who had been waiting. Not one of them anticipated that 3 days later he would rise again and change their worlds from the inside out, yet He did.
Life often doesn’t look the way we imagine it should. There are surprises right around the corner.
People waited for a Messiah to deliver them. A baby arrived. They thought Jesus would take over the Roman rule as king and conqueror. Instead He was nailed to a cross. They watched Him die. What they anticipated would happen took a turn and spiraled seemingly out of control. But was it?
If I stop for a minute and try to imagine I can find a way to relate. Life doesn’t always go the way I think it will, in fact it seldom does. Suddenly it goes in a different direction, spiraling downhill quicker than I can stand. It can take my breath away and leave me dazed and confused. It can be hard to get back up and continue to have hope and belief, especially when answers don’t seem to come. Where is God anyways?
What the story of Jesus tells me is that even though life looks a certain way it’s not the end of the narrative. It’s what I need to remember these days as the months tick by. Things aren’t always what they seem.
A deliverer was promised to Israel and they got a baby. A baby who couldn’t even lift a finger to feed himself and yet He was the answer.
Jesus had to come as a baby into this world to experience life like we did, to know the effects of sin, in order to become the High Priest who would understand our suffering. He had to know what it was like to walk a life in our shoes.
Life isn’t what I think it is. There’s so much more woven into it than my eyes can see.
As I think about the little baby who was placed in a manger, surrounded by animal smells and filth I see something I need to see. To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven.
Though the way things go down in this world can fool you, there’s more than meets the eye. Surprises come when you least expect them in ways you cannot imagine. What a surprise Jesus must have been, but oh what an answer He was.
©copyrighted: 2019 Julie H Todd