The other day I pondered the innkeeper in Bethlehem preparing to turn away a very pregnant Mary as she stood next to her husband Joseph. Or perhaps she was sitting on the donkey just behind him, doubled over in a contraction. I thought about his humble offer they could have his stable instead of a room.
I’ve had the privilege of being in what the early Christians claim to be the stable in which Jesus was born. Due to the manner in which it has been decorated it hardly looks like where Mary would have given birth. The stable was more likely a cave cut into the hillside where animals were kept.
Yet no matter what I thought, it still blessed me to be in the Bethlehem hilly area and the thought still comes to me that the inn keeper gave them what help he could.
At this season we think of giving, so we send extra money to our favorite charities who are especially in need this year. My husband, Ray and I began a tradition before all eight houses on our cul-de-sac were even built, of giving goodies to our neighbors with a Christian-based Christmas card in which was our name and phone number and offer of help if they ever needed it. For years it has been the neighborhood tradition.
Have you ever thought of helping by asking for help? I had quite a lot of packages from Walgreens last week, (after driving down Main and using my green crutches to walk in and hold onto a cart I was pooped out). When I got to my car there were four rather dour teenagers walking together nearby.
After getting the attention of one girl, I asked her, “Would you mind helping put my packages on my car seat for me? My car is right here.”
“Okay” she said rather sullenly.
Then an intriging thing happened. The three guys with her wanted to get a package as well and put them in the car–and all with smiles!
“You did a very good deed today, so feel good about yourselves,” I said. “Thanks so much. Merry Christmas!” and they all grinned. It was such fun!
I wonder if the innkeeper was blessed as he came down to the stable, or perhaps heard the news: “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (Luke 2:17-18).
I can’t help but wonder if one of those teens told their mom about helping me . . .
Don’t forget this Christmas that asking for help may be the greatest blessing you can give someone this year–and it won’t cost you a thing!
Prayer: Lord, it is so hard to ask for help, for both the little things and the big things. Teach me that asking for help is relying on Your strength and no my own, and that I need to allow others to experience the joy of serving, by allowing myself to be humble.
About the Author:
Jo Franz is an inspirational author and speaker to many as she lives with multiple sclerosis. Her book “Soar Unafraid” is 350 pages filled with vulnerable story-telling, journal entries, prayers, and Jo’s song words. Jo shares, “I’ve faced many trials, including living with MS since 1977 and an unwanted divorce, but I wouldn’t trade any of these for the deepening of my relationship with Christ. That growth is shared whether I teach from the Bible, share stories, or sing. And humor is a part of my life and speaking!”
You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com
Has there been a time during the holidays when you have stepped out of your comfort zone and asked for help? How was it a rewarding experience?