All Things Good
Advent Day 13
Romans 8:28 ESV
Luke 1:38 ESV
Luke 2:6-7 ESV
There are times in my life when I’ve been totally confused about why things happen as they do. When that happens I sit with God and ponder about what the reason could be.
Did I do something wrong? In other words did I make a wrong decision?
Or did God intend it to be this way?
When that happens I am reminded about what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
When I remember Paul’s words I am reminded over and over again that even if I made a decision that took me on an ill-advised detour, God makes all things work together for good.
I remember that I am not in charge.
I am grateful that God IS in charge.
I remember the day I asked God to be in charge of my life. I remember I knew my need for God is great and that I relied God.
I knew I am powerless.
And God is powerful.
Every day when I write I sit and wait. I listen. I ask God what He HAS for me. Even though I’ve been a writer all my life I am clueless about what to say. It doesn’t matter that I have a degree in Communication from a University. The fact that I have a Master’s of Divinity from an accredited Seminary doesn’t mean anything. Those were good tools for sure, but ultimately all my years of studying helped me to see and understand everything I do NOT know.
I came to a place where I realized my need for God was ever before me. I know there are thousands (millions) of things I do not know.
When I think of the young girl Mary who carried the Holy child in her womb I wonder if she felt the same way.
Did she understand why God chose her?
Did she understand how God would work through all the details of her life?
We know from Luke 1:38 that she said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
Mary opened her hands and her heart and she accepted (she received) what God had for her.
For Mary and Joseph her betrothed that meant they both accepted and received God’s will and work in their lives.
We know that meant they would take a long journey when she was very pregnant from their home in Nazareth to the land of their Hebrew roots. It meant they had to walk from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judah.
I can honestly tell you at that point I would probably have said to God, “are you kidding me? I am very pregnant and I’m about to give birth and You want me to leave my home and walk 90 miles to go to Bethlehem in Judah?”
Yet Mary simply said, “let it be.”
To make matters worse, when Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem and they tried to find a place to stay they found out there were no rooms available. The only accommodations were in a stable with stinky smelly animals.
Mary didn’t even have a midwife or other Hebrew women there to support her.
She was young and she had no idea what to expect when she gave birth.
I have to wonder how they knew what happens after the child is born? Did Hebrew women prepare her and tell her what to do after the baby is born? How did they know about cutting the cord? Did they know to tie it off?
We don’t know about the details of the birth.
We only know from Luke 2:6-7, “And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
They wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes which were strips of clothing.
They laid Him in a manger which was a food trough used for the animals in the barn. Joseph would have had to clean out the animal’s food, line it with hay, and lay the baby on top of the hay.
Mary didn’t even have a room.
She gave birth to her baby in a barn with all the animals.
When I think about their accommodation I wonder why it happened the way it did. I know I would ask God why? Or, is this the best we could do?
However, after pondering it, I tend to think God had a specific reason for the accommodations of the birth of Jesus.
I think God gave His best, His own Son but God wanted us to know He came to be just like us. He wasn’t given any special treatment. He wasn’t born into a royal family of privilege.
He was the son of a young Hebrew woman and a simple carpenter who was born in a manger.
When we think of the birth of Jesus we remember He lived just like the least of us.
Ultimately, ALL things really do work together for good for those who are called according to God’s purpose.
Spiritual Practice: All things Good
Think of a time when God brought good to you out of a difficult situation.
In God, Deborah