Merry Christmas! We all know the story of Jesus’ birth in a lowly manger because there was no room anywhere else, but have you ever considered just how sad and terrible that must have felt for Mary and Joseph? The Lord had not previously told them they would have to give birth covered in hay and surrounded by livestock, so the fact that they tried to find anywhere else to go except the where they ended up shows they were not thrilled about their birthing location. That moment must have been a frightening and disheartening one for sure. But that is the exact place God stands with us, and God was at work with them then. That night, there was surely only one baby given birth to in Bethlehem who was lying in a manger. By placing Jesus in the lowest of the low situations, God laid the foundation for the glory that would come. But consider this as well: what would the angels have said to the shepherds if Jesus had been born in a house, a room in an inn, or anywhere else normal? The angels instructions would have been a little more complicated to find Jesus. Sometimes God places us in uniquely terrible circumstances so that not only can we rise by His hand alone, but also so that we may be found easily by those He has sent to help us. Today, if you are struggling or disheartened by what is going on in your life, remember that God places us in certain situations for specific purposes. Have faith and trust Him.
“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” — Luke 2:4-12 NIV