When you had HGTV in mind for Christmas…

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes; imagine you are a young woman about to become a first-time mom. Chances are you think about the baby’s room. Now, think color choices, decorative themes, furnishings, blankets…the list goes on and on.
You study everything from HGTV to Pinterest looking for ways to prepare the cutest and safest nursery for your bundle of joy.

Now, fast forward and imagine the UN-imaginable. You end up traveling on your due date, and your precious baby is BORN IN A BARN!!! How disgusting and incredibly disappointing! You had so much planned that didn’t come close to reality.

By now you probably realize the analogy is actually from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I doubt anyone reading this comes close to giving birth to a baby in a barn, much less laying a newborn to sleep in a stable instead of a decorated nursery and comfy baby bed.

Like Mary, all of us have disappointments in life; we imagine one situation, and things turn out disappointingly different. As Mary imagined a nursery and got a barn, you may have imagined a career and got laid off, or a marriage and ended up with a divorce, a degree and instead got overwhelmed and dropped out. Disappointments are common in life, and everyone has them.

While dreams sometimes fail, Mary showed us a great attitude to imitate. She bravely endured disappointment and trusted God in spite of her barn-like surroundings.

She could have easily been so blinded by disappointment (“But I gave birth in a BARN!“) that she would have missed the beauty and majesty of the unexpected work of God. Instead, Mary trusted God in spite of what could have been a crushing disappointment, and as she sat in disbelief, she saw local shepherds as well as foreign wise men come to visit the “newborn king.”

For this Christmas, imitate Mary. Don’t let the disappointments of 2020 overshadow the joy and peace of Christmas and the hope that can be found in Jesus. Back then and now, He comes to longing hearts to be Emmanuel (which means “God with us”) in the best and worst of times.

Choose joy, take time to sit quietly in peaceful moments of the season, and trust God for your unknown future as Mary did so long ago. (For more, read the Gospel of Luke in the Bible, Chapter 2).

For a fun and memorable way to teach your kids or grandkids about important Bible heroes like Mary, check out my book “Who Am I?” on Amazon.com. I hope it can be a blessing to that special child (or children) in your life.