Lessons From Bethlehem (Part Three)

Imagine this scenario: An angel appears to you to tell you that you’re pregnant.

Not only are you pregnant, but your to-be-born child will save the world.

You’d probably be scared. Like, what-the-heck-is-happening-scared.

What complicates this situation even more is that you’re engaged to be married. Somehow, you’re going to have to try to explain all of this to your fiancé and hope he believes you.

If you’re a guy and reading this, imagine that your fiancé is telling you all of this. You may be a little suspicious. You may wonder if she’s completely lost it when she tells you that an angel appeared to her.

This is more than just a crazy what-if scenario, this is what happened to Mary and Joseph in the midst of the very first Christmas 

I don’t know about you, but if I were Mary, I’d be really freaked out. I think we can pretty much bet that she would have been at least a little scared during that event, if not completely terrified. By the Jewish law of the time, Mary could have been stoned to death.(http://www.scripturestudies.com/Vol4/D7/d7_nt.html)

Nonetheless, Mary trusted that God knew what was best. “”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:38. Joseph also chose to have faith in God, and faith in his to-be wife after an angel appeared to him and explained that Mary’s child is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:24 says “When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.”

Sometimes, we don’t know why things happen the way they do. Life situations don’t always make sense to us in the here and now, from our perspective. But, God can see the whole picture. It’s kind of like a story. In book POVS, the omniscient narrator can see the entire story. With books written in this point of view, you can see every characters’ thoughts and actions. However, in first person, we can only see life through one character’s perspective. In real life, we can only see a tiny piece of a greater story in our own limited point of view. Nonetheless, God can see the entire storyline. He knows exactly how things will affect not only our own lives but the lives of others.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Even if we don’t understand life’s many unusual circumstances and wrenches in our plans, God does. Romans 8:28 reads “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This doesn’t mean that all things are good, or even make sense to us in the natural realm. But, it does mean that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and He holds the pen to all of our stories.

Sometimes, our job is to put down the pen and let God narrate, trusting that He will turn our lives into a beautiful masterpiece. 🙂

This is the last installment of the Lessons From Bethlehem series. There are many more things that we can learn from the Nativity, as well as many other events from the Bible. I highly encourage you to read the Bible on your own, letting God speak to you in a way that only He can.

I believe this song really captures the emotion that must have taken place on the night before Christmas. It’s also one of my favorite modern Christmas songs.

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath


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