Years ago, days before all our families were to arrive for Christmas, I stood in the kitchen & felt the floor squish. Within hours men started to arrive & traipse dirt into my home, the entire kitchen floor was ripped out, large holes were made in the drywall of three rooms, & Christmas decorations were torn down to bring in large fans that ran twenty-four hours a day.
My car had been in the shop for over seven weeks for a job that should have taken a few days. Tension was high in my home, but I had no choice but to pray the roof wouldn’t fall in too. At last, I got my car & two men put in a new hard-wood floor while I ran to get groceries. Relatives began to arrive from out of state —literally—within two hours of the floor being completed. It was. . .well, stressful!
But imagine with me for a moment how Mary, mother of Jesus must have felt. She discovers she is pregnant—with the child of God! (Talk about pressure!) But she grasps this & then, wouldn’t it figure, a decree to register comes out & the man she is pledged to is from Bethlehem. According to Arthur Blessitt, the Guinness Book of Record’s holder for ‘the world’s longest walk’, after Mary conceived she walked from Nazareth to south of Jerusalem to see her cousin Elizabeth, (130 miles one way), then back again.
And with Joseph she walked back south of Jerusalem to Bethlehem (another 130 miles). During all this walking travel of 390 miles Mary was with child! Some have argued that nowhere does it say she rode on a donkey.
She finally gets there & says, “Hey, uh, Joe, honey, it’s time.” So Joseph looks for a place for her to rest & finds all the inns are full. . “Oh, God, give me a break here! It’s your baby! Haven’t I been patient? This trip couldn’t have come at a worse time, but have I complained?”
Luke 2:7 says, “She wrapped [the baby] in cloths & placed him in a manger.” I’m sure she thought he was beautiful. From the very beginning God did things out of the ordinary, even if it resulted in a loss of comfort.
Two years ago I casually talked about the Lord to every workman that came through my door who expected to find a stressed out woman on the other side. This Christmas season, look for God’s best in the midst of all the stress.
This was reprinted from HopeKeepers Magazine Nov/Dec. 2004, by Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries. She is hoping to be recovering from h& surgery as this posts (she is working on the web site before surgery).