Mary, a young teenager, chosen by God to carry His son… The Redeemer, our Savior, the Light of the world, Lord of lords, King of kings. Reading Mary’s response leaves me speechless, “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
Why can’t I trust God like Mary? A prayer emerged, “Help me trust You like Mary. She didn’t have to know all the answers ahead of time. She simply believed.” Tears formed as God reminded me of Carly Jo’s blog. Be blessed as you read…
This week as I was reading God’s Word, He pierced my heart with two harsh, yet sweet realities.
I am messed up.
Yes, you heard that right. I am a broken, cold-hearted, smelly wreck. There is no good in me (not even a little bit) apart from Christ. I am self-centered, weak, self-righteous, insecure, prideful, and prone to wander. I consciously choose sin over righteousness. I am unworthy to carry even the sandals on Jesus’ feet (Matthew 3:11) much less the Spirit of God in me… It sounds like I am airing dirty laundry but hang on tight because the second reality is unreal.
Jesus was born in a stable.
You’re probably confused… but just wait.
Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, was born in a broken, ugly, cold, nasty shelter for animals. This birthplace was by no means an accident – in fact, I am confident that it was by God’s design that the King of glory made a quiet entrance to earth in this tiny, humble abode in Bethlehem. With farm animals all around, Mary gave birth to our Savior then wrapped Him in strips of rags and laid Him in a manger (a feeding trough for animals). With remnants of animal slobber and moldy food, this repurposed manager was a perfect resting place for baby Jesus.
In my eyes, this scene seems like a mistake. The Lamb of God should have been born into a wealthy, well-known family with servants waiting on them hand and foot. However, in our Father’s eyes, every detail of this holy night is nothing short of perfect.
Everything about the birth of Jesus screams out restoration and redemption. God transformed a detestable stable into a temporary home for Joseph and his tiny family. He took a feeding trough and made it a resting place for Jesus. Finally, He turned an insignificant, “little” town called Bethlehem into the hometown of Yahweh. My God is in the business of bringing order from chaos. He takes shattered pieces and turns them into a beautiful, new creation. God did not ask Mary & Joseph to scrub the floors of the stable, bleach the manager, patch up the gaping holes in the walls, or even warm a fire up before giving birth to Jesus. Nope. All He asked was for them to trust Him.
Moral of the story, God restores hopeless places. He makes all things new in miraculous ways. I am very much a broken person with piles of baggage that display remnants of past failures. Yet, Jesus chose to make my heart (& yours – if you place your trust in Him) His sanctuary. He chose to take this damaged stable and make it his home! He did not ask me to clean up before He entered my life – all He asked was for me to place my trust in Him then He would work on my heart over time. Now, as time goes on, He perfects my heart piece by piece. He scrubs the floors, patches the walls, warms the fire, and searches every nook & cranny to make my heart (& yours) His home – His Bethlehem.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2