As I reflect on the Christmas story once again, I find myself landing with two large feet right into Mary’s shoes. After a little reality check and some time spent considering what it must have been like that very first Christmas, I imagine there were so many tears, so much frustration, even yelling and screaming at each other as Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem and then around the city. It reminds me that God doesn’t make things easy or pretty. We have chosen to make the Christmas story look like something so beautiful. And of course, it truly is a beautiful event, but we certainly have taken all the reality out of it.
If we consider what must have been taking place between Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem, we have to appreciate how hard it was, how difficult for them. Personally, I find it comforting that God took a real situation that was so difficult and transformed it into something so beautiful. Let’s face it, things aren’t always easy in this world. They just aren’t. And sometimes our first reaction is to throw our hands up at God and ask him what in the world he is doing. When I look at the Christmas story, I am reminded that God does beautiful things with life’s most difficult moments.
So, if you are just enduring right now, keep your chin up. It may seem difficult and hard, and it is just that. But God makes beautiful things out of the most difficult times. Just look at Mary and Joseph. As my daughter reflected in a paper that she wrote recently about their journey to Bethlehem, Mary must have been so confused and worried… she was traveling across the country with a man who had just tried to divorce her! How true. I’m sure Mary was worried and frustrated and feeling a little bit alone, but her faith took her very far. It will take us far too. And God will do beautiful things with our story!