. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

What’s Christmas Supposed To Be?

I wonder how many times Mary found herself thinking,

It was NOT supposed to be like this!

A stable for a delivery room? Couldn’t God have hooked up His newborn Son with at least a crib? Traveling so far on a donkey at the end of my ninth month of pregnancy because of a census? I would have thought God might have had Quirinius wait at least another few weeks, so I could give birth in my hometown, near my mom and the people I love. Instead, the baby’s first visitors were stinky strangers just come from the fields with their sheep.,

I think I would have gotten frustrated by the whole escaping-to-Egypt thing, too. I mean, really, why would the Father let King Herod go on such a tyrade? Trying to eliminate the King I’d born?

I woud have found myself regularly thinking, It wasn’t supposed to be like this!

I wonder how many times the Father reminded her of her commitment from the first. The one where she surrendered her what-she-expected to the service of God.

Mary quote

But that was only the beginning.

What about the time the twelve-year-old Son of God stayed back at the temple while Mary and Joseph traveled on and couldn’t find Him? No, I would have been thinking, the Son of God is not supposed to worry His parents like that! And as He pushed Himself up by the feet for every last breath on that cross, I would have screamed it as I stood watching. Disbelieving.

It was NOT supposed to be like this!

I read the story of Jesus’ birth and of Mary and of Joseph. Read fresh the part where the shepherds told what the angels had said. When Mary hid it all inside her heart. Kept it there for safe pondering.

I wonder how often Mary pulled out those treasures later in life, after the torturous screams only a mother who’s lost a child can really know. After the victory dance in Gethsemane with her Savior-Son Who’d conquered death. I wonder if she ever pulled them out from that place in her heart and thought,

Oh, I guess it WAS supposed to be like this. I get it now.

These past few days have not been anything at all like I expected for the few days before Christmas 2012. We traveled home for the two weeks surrounding Christmas so we could celebrate and enjoy and relax and visit. But these days have taken us through a stomach flu which landed my youngest in the hospital for a day and half. We have seen more doctors than we’ve seen friends. And Christmas Eve with my sister and her family has been postponed by a week. I find myself thinking how it wasn’t supposed to be like this. It is not what we had planned.

And, somehow, it’s helping me admire Mary more than I ever have. It’s opening my eyes to the truth of God’s sovereign hand that says what goes and how and when. It’s reminding me that this whole Christmas thing, well, it’s not really about what I think it should be at all. It’s about Him.

I started this Christmas season asking Jesus what I could give Him. I think He’s been pretty clear. He wants my surrendered trust and confidence in Who He is. He wants my expectant joy and my peace and my solid faith in His I’ve-got-this-taken-care-of-in-every-detail-of-every-part-of-it. So today I’m gonna’ wrap it up for Him.

I’m going to give Him my what-I-expected and look for real Christmas joy inside His hand. I am His servant.

One Thought on “What’s Christmas Supposed To Be?

  1. I hear ya, kindred spirit!

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